Native tribes debate entering legal pot business

“Some Native American tribes have done very well for themselves in the casino business. But for tribes whose lands are far off the beaten track, that business won’t work. Many are being encouraged to look for jobs in the energy sector or develop e-commerce ventures, but some are being told they could make millions of dollars using wide open spaces on reservation land growing a very lucrative crop: marijuana. The possibility of growing marijuana popped up in December, when the Justice Department surprised tribal leaders with a memorandum suggesting that the agency may consider looking the other way if tribes got into the cannabis business.”

‘Beats paying $10K’: Uninsured opt for Obamacare fine over coverage

“A moratorium for uninsured Americans to avoid paying a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act may not be accomplishing its desired goal, as many citizens appear to be opting to pay a fine rather than sign up for coverage.  Although it’s still early in the process—the extended deadline lapses in April—a senior executive at H&R Block said that ‘a significant percentage of taxpayers’ are opting to pay the penalty.  Separately, only 12 percent of uninsured people would buy policies if informed of the penalty, according to a survey of 3,000 adults polled by McKinsey & Co.”

ECB’s Celebration of Its New $1.4 Billion Tower Is Spoiled by Protesters

“Anti-austerity protesters seeking to spoil the inauguration of the European Central Bank’s new headquarters in Frankfurt’s east end set vehicles alight, erected barricades and left a trail of destruction across the city.  Police deployed water cannons to restore calm and keep the demonstrators at bay in the area surrounding the 1.3 billion-euro ($1.4 billion) tower, after setting up barbed wire and road blocks. Nine days after the ECB started buying sovereign debt in a 1.1 trillion-euro plan to revive inflation and rescue the economy, protesters are laying the blame for recession and unemployment in the 19-nation euro area at the doors of Draghi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”

Here Is Why The Fed Can’t Hike Rates By Even 0.25%

“The next time someone asks ‘why is Yellen so terrified of even the smallest possible rate hike’, show them this chart above and explain that the Fed vividly remembers what heppened when LTCM blew up. What the Fed doesn’t want, is not one but one thousand LTCMs going off at exactly the same time in what is now the world’s most levered trade.”

$50m Dark Web Market Just Disappeared With Millions In Bitcoin

“It had become a bigger, badder version of the Silk Road drug bazaar in its short life, but Evolution, founded on 14 January last year, has apparently been closed and one staffer is claiming the admins have scammed its huge user base. The site, based on the anonymising Tor network, was home to nearly 20,000 drug sales at the time of its apparent demise, far more than Silk Road or its subsequent iteration Silk Road 2, but also sold weapons, from guns to tasers hidden in fake cigarette packets, and plenty of fraud material. It was also slicker, faster and more professional than other dark web markets, but is ostensibly no more.”

Astonishing Images Show $4.2 Million In Seized Dark Market Drugs

“Officers in Leipzig apprehended two individuals they believe to have been involved in the web-based Shiny-Flakes narcotics dealership, one a 20-year-old whose apartment was searched on 26 February and a 51-year-old Bulgarian courier.  From the search of the apartment and further seizures of shipments, a whopping 360kg of drugs were acquired by the police, including crystal meth, cocaine, speed, ecstasy tablets, LSD, hashish and marijuana. Combined, the drugs were worth just over $4.2 million. A cool €48,000 ($50,461) in cash was also found alongside all those illegal substances. The stash really is something to behold, as seen in the images sent over by the law enforcement agency.”

Market Volatility Makes a Comeback

“2015 is not even three months old yet — just 56 trading days so far in fact — and already the S&P 500 Index has risen or fallen 1 percent or more 15 times, according to Bloomberg.  While everyone is focused on when the Fed might raise interest rates, a bigger concern for me is deteriorating sales and profit growth. The financial media hasn’t latched onto this story much yet, because they’re too busy trying to handicap Janet Yellen’s next move.  But I’m keeping a watchful eye on S&P 500 profits and you should too, because if fundamental sales and earnings keep trending lower, that could mean more downside volatility ahead for stocks.”

Apple may buy 1/3 of world’s gold production to meet iWatch demand

“Technology giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may soon buy up one third of the world’s gold in order to meet the demands of its highly anticipated Apple Watch, according to reports.  Interest in the high-end model, featuring 18-karat gold casing, is picking up and the firm is already taking the necessary steps to have enough of them in stock. According to, Apple plans to start producing more than one million units per month in the second quarter of the year, anticipating high demand from Asian markets, mainly China. Josh Centers, from TidBits, estimates that each gold watch will contain 2 troy ounces (62.2 grams) of gold.”

Bill Bonner: The Day the ATMs Run Out…

“You will have a credit card with a $10,000 line of credit. You have $5,000 in your debit account. But all financial institutions are staggering. And in the news you will read that your bank has defaulted and been placed in receivership. What would you rather have? Your $10,000 line of credit or a stack of $50 bills?  You will go to buy gasoline. You will take out your credit card to pay.  ‘Cash Only,’ the sign will say. Because the machinery of the credit economy will be breaking down. Whose lines of credit are still valuable? Whose bank is ready to fail? Who can pay his mortgage? Who will honor his credit card debt?  No one will know the answers. Quickly, they will stop guessing… and turn to cash.”

Attacking Payday Predators Misses the Point


“Holder wants to prosecute Wall Street bankers and Bloomberg wants to regulate payday lenders. Neither approach deals with the fundamental issue of the business cycle and central banking’s role in it.  Holder’s latest initiative targets Wall Street banking. The CFPB believes a similar level of exploitation lurks within the payday loan industry. It would be far more productive to try to understand why such payday loans are necessary, why poverty is increasing in the US and throughout the West, why some 40 million US citizens use food stamps while tens of millions more cannot find a job. These are deep and serious issues that would demand scrutiny of the US’s basic economic model.”