Saturday, February 9, 2013

Who benefits from the Federal Reserve's open ended QE launched in September 2012 ? Why its the Banks of Europe of course ! Welcome to the desert of the real

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6T9dBsJ6ig







Desert fo the real..........



http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-02-09/guest-post-us-economy-now-dangerously-detached-reality


Guest Post: The U.S. Economy Is Now Dangerously Detached From Reality

Tyler Durden's picture




Submitted by Brandon Smith from Alt-Market
The U.S. Economy Is Now Dangerously Detached From Reality
Recently I was asked to give a presentation on the current state of the global economy to a local group of concerned citizens here in Northwest Montana.  I was happy to oblige but when composing my bullet points I realized that, in truth, there were no legitimate economic numbers to examine anymore.  You see, financial analysts have traditionally used multiple indicators of employment, profit, savings, credit, supply, and demand in their efforts to divine the often obscured facts of our financial system.  The problem is, nearly every index we used in the past, every measure of capital flow and industry, is absolutely useless today. 
We now live in an entirely fabricated fiscal environment.  Every aspect of it is filtered, muddled, molded, and manipulated before our eyes ever get to study the stats.  The metaphor may be overused, but our economic system has become an absolute “matrix”.  All that we see and hear has been homogenized and all truth has been sterilized away.  There is nothing to investigate anymore.  It is like awaking in the middle of a vast and hallucinatory live action theater production, complete with performers, props, and sound effects, all designed to confuse us and do us harm.  In the end, trying to make sense of the illusion is a waste of time.  All we can do is look for the exits…
There is some tangible reality out there, but it is difficult to find, and there are few if any mainstream numbers to verify.  One has to remember always that the fundamental world of money and trade revolves around real people and real circumstances.  No matter how corrupt our economic system is, as long as there are human beings, there will always be supply and demand that cannot be hidden.  We have to look past the “official numbers” and look at the roots of trade.  Where has demand fallen?  Where has supply diminished?  Where are the tangible goods and needs and how have they changed?
Let’s first start with the mainstream version of our system, looking at each aspect of the economy that no longer represents the truth of our situation…
Employment, Savings, And Debt
Much of this information is old news to those of us in the Liberty Movement, who tracked the progress of the global collapse long before the general public even knew of its existence.  However, it is useful to take a step back and look at the basic picture every once in a while. 
According to numbers issued by the Department of Labor, weekly unemployment reports have dropped to a five year low, and the overall employment rate is holding at 7.9%.  This would seem to be a vast improvement over the dreadful bloodletting in the system only a few years ago.  Has the private Federal Reserve and the Obama Administration really done it?  Have they turned back the tide on the greatest fiscal crisis the U.S. has seen since the Depression?
No.  They haven’t. 
They have only changed how the data is disseminated to the public. In order to understand how the employment statistics con is being engineered, it is important to understand the difference between “Adjusted” and “Unadjusted” numbers.
Labor Department data is “seasonally adjusted”, using a series of statistical assumptions including something called “Trend Cycle Analysis”.  Trend Cycle Analysis is, basically, a sham, but a sham put together in a very complex and confusing manner.  If you ask a mainstream economist what it is, you’ll likely get a three hour long dissertation filled with financial babble and very little concrete explanation.  So let me break it down as simply as I can…
Imagine that you are going to estimate how much profit you plan to make in a particular month, but you don’t just consider your current pay rate and pop it into a calculator; you also throw in the possibility of a few pay raises, an inheritance from a grandma who might kick the bucket, and, your exaggerated expectations of the entire year’s profit on top of that.  You may also take into account future bad weather, a mugging, a nuclear war….whatever.  All hypothetical situations not based in reality.  Basically, you decide that a particular trend in your income is inevitable, then, mold your statistical analysis around that assumption.      
When your real profit numbers come in (the unadjusted numbers) and they do not meet your expectations, you simply change them according to what you believe SHOULD have happened.  If you insist that your profits are going to go up for the year, and they go down for a couple months instead, you change the variables you use to calculate the statistical average so that the results match your expectations, assuming that it will all balance out in the end.
Now, this sounds utterly insane for the common person out there trying to make a living.  If you ran your household this way, without accepting the cold hard unadjusted numbers in front of you, you’d find yourself broke and on the street in no time.  Unfortunately this is EXACTLY how our government handles most financial data; by coming to a final conclusion before hand, and then forcing the numbers to fit that conclusion.
This is why in February of 2013, “adjusted” first week unemployment rate was reported at 366,000 – a 5000 person drop from the week before.  A seeming improvement in the trend.  But, unadjusted numbers came in at 386,176 – a 16,000 person spike from the week before.  When one examines real unemployment numbers, he finds that the divergence between the adjusted and unadjusted statistics is growing larger with each passing quarter.  That is to say, the contradiction is becoming so blatant between the hard numbers and the Labor Department’s fantasy numbers that one must question whether or not the government is lying to us outright about the state of the economy (hint – they are lying). 
These same methods are used by the government to calculate progress in the housing market, disposable income, etc. 
The claim of “recovery” in the jobs market simply doesn’t jive with other indicators, like 2012 Christmas retail, which had the worst showing since the crash in 2008 (and these are still mainstream numbers!):http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/26/us-holiday-retail-sales-growth-weak...
Average household savings continue to scrape the bottom of the barrel, indicating that the public is not spending or withholding cash.  They are simply broke:
And the overall GDP of the U.S. contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012 for the first time in three years (again, according to official numbers, meaning the reality is much worse):

http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/30/news/economy/gdp-report/index.html
The downturn in consumption and industry also seems to be supported by the Baltic Dry Index, a measure of global shipping and rates.  The BDI has fallen to near historic lows THREE TIMES in the past year, which to my knowledge, has never happened before.  In the past, the BDI has been a strong prophetic indicator of future market volatility.  Usually, around a year after a severe decline in the index, a dangerous economic event takes place.  The BDI made its first sharp drop to all time lows at the end of January 2012, exactly a year ago. 
U.S. household debt was recently reported to have fallen to a 29 year low, but the ratio used by the Federal Reserve applies a statistic for disposable income that is derived from the Trend Cycle boondoggle method.  While markets cheer, the truth is, the only reason household debt obligations have fallen at all is because bank lending and credit issuance remains frozen.  Consumer debt falls when there is no money to borrow.  In fact, the Federal Reserve actually pays large banks NOT to lend to the public; an activity which was exposed by Dennis Kucinich in 2009 on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  An activity that continued through 2012:

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/the-fed-should-stop-paying-banks-not-to-lend/
Keep in mind, one of the primary arguments the Federal Reserve used when promoting the bailout concept was that it would “free up credit markets” so that lending could pick up again and fuel a recovery, and yet, at the same time, they were paying banks to NOT lend.
Meanwhile, the supposed job recovery has produced an astonishing increase in welfare recipients in the U.S., including a record 46 million Americans on foodstamps (approximately 15% of our population):http://www.nbcnews.com/business/report-15-americans-food-stamps-980690
If we are to apply any “trend” to our calculations on overall economic health, then we should include the extreme level of government handouts, and poverty levels which are now at all time highs.  The facts are undeniable; the number of people who have much less than they did in 2008 has grown.  How then could the U.S. be considered “in recovery”?
National Debt And The Fiat Lie
With the Dow Index hovering near highs of 14,000 our system truly looks to be on a rocket ship to pre-2008 money market bliss.  In a mere five years we have returned to equity spikes that stagger the mind and the wallet.  At least, that’s how it all appears…
What needs to be taken into account, though, is the amount of fiat money being created by the Federal Reserve, and how much of that printed pixie dust currency is fueling our magical flight to Neverland.  Since 2008, our official national debt has increased from $10 trillion to $16.4 trillion, and some estimate $17 trillion to $18 trillion by the end of 2013 (unless, of course, a collapse occurs).  Which means our national debt, which took decades to reach the $10 trillion mark, will have nearly doubled in only six years! 
So, what has a doubling of our national debt in such a short span of time bought us?  Well, credit markets remain frozen, property markets remain stagnant, poverty is at historic levels, welfare recipients are at epic highs, and consumer activity and GDP is back at 2008 lows.  Where did all that printed money go?  Where was it spent?  To answer that question, we only need to find what area of the economy has seen the most positive (or fantastical) activity.  What sector is seeing a massive boost while the rest tumbles?
I suggest that a large portion of QE1 through QE3 has gone to prop up the stock market, and nothing else.  I suggest that American taxpayers are fronting the bill for the equities bonanza we see today.  I suggest that the Dow is being used as a Red Herring to distract the populous for as long as possible while real assets are being snapped up and hoarded by international banks and foreign entities.  I suggest that we are being leached dry and that the parasites are almost ready to move on…
When will it all end?  Perhaps sooner than many people think.  The decision by D.C. to delay talks on the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” until March may not be coincidence.  Extensive cuts in federal spending are absolutely necessary and cannot be dismissed forever, but, because the last vestiges of our system that still operate do so through government money, such cuts will cause immediate damage to the economy, including possible default and dollar devaluation.  Refusal to make cuts will result in credit downgrades, currency inflation, and a loss of the greenback’s world reserve status.  There is no “right” way out of this quandary. 
When this collapse is initiated, it would certainly behoove all parties involved, including central banks, international banks, and criminal politicians, to have a scapegoat handy for the citizenry to direct their rage at.
Event Horizon Economics
An “Event Horizon” in physics is a moment or singularity in spacetime at which a gravitational pull becomes so great that there is no way to escape it.  It is a point of no return.  I believe America’s economy has reached its own Event Horizon.  Our system is now entirely fiat driven, with very little or no true economy left.  Without constant injections from the Fed, and perpetually low interest rates, the country would implode tomorrow.  This is not recovery.  Actually, I’m not sure what to call it. 
Today, independent economic analysts cannot look to the numbers to determine future trends.  Most are fake, and the rest are ugly, and I’m not sure much else can be said in their regard.  Instead, we must now look to events, rather than statistics, because our country has been maneuvered into a position of utmost frailty.  Like an avalanche shelf waiting for that perfectly timed disturbance to trigger its roaring collapse.  All that is needed is a macro-crisis, and it is no great feat for such a thing to be created in our tension filled global environment.
War in Syria and Iran leading to a tripling of energy prices.  Sanctions and strife with North Korea leading to Chinese economic retribution.  Conflict between China and Japan, again leading to Chinese economic warfare and perhaps real warfare.  An opportune “cyber attack” which could be used as an excuse for a market crash and even an internet shutdown.  A “political impasse” between Reps and Dems which leads to a default of U.S. credit.  Any one of these catastrophes could easily occur (with a little nudge from some well placed people) and feed a wider global tragedy.  The important thing to remember is that while this event will be blamed for the breakdown, it was international banks, the Federal Reserve, and elements of our own government that made the domino effect possible.  They put the pieces in place.  The act that knocks them over is secondary.
I have spent the past seven years writing about “potential” threats to our overall system, but these dangers were always just beyond our sight.  Just around the corner.  Today, it is as if the journey is over, and all those threats have materialized right before my eyes as real, and imminent.  I am watching that which I warned of come to fruition, and this is certainly not a pleasant thing.  What is valuable, though, is what we have all done in the Liberty Movement with the time that we had.  From when I began writing for the movement until now, I have seen an overwhelming increase in public awareness.  It may not be obvious to newer activists, but it is there all the same.  While we still face disparaging odds, and millions upon millions of oblivious bystanders, there is, amidst these darker moments, a steadfast community of free men and women forming.  I have full faith in the future.  Much more so than I ever did before.  Our economy may be detached from reality, but our endeavors as individuals will not be.  Our resolve will be the great game changer.  Not fiscal calamity.













http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-02-09/feds-bailout-europe-continues-record-237-billion-injected-foreign-banks-past-month


The Fed's Bailout Of Europe Continues With Record $237 Billion Injected Into Foreign Banks In Past Month

Tyler Durden's picture





Last weekend Zero Hedge once again broke the news that just like back in June 2011,when as part of the launch of QE2 we demonstrated that all the incremental cash resulting form the $600 billion surge in the Fed's excess reserves, had gone not to domestically-chartered US banks, but to subsidiaries of foreign banks operating on US soil. To be sure, various other secondary outlets picked up on the story without proper attribution, most notably the WSJ, which cited a Stone McCarthy report adding the caveat that "interpreting the data released by the Federal Reserve is a bit challenging" and also adding the usual incorrect attempts at interpretation for why this is happening. To the contrary:interpreting the data is quite simple, which is why we made an explicit prediction: 'We urge readers to check the weekly status of the H.8 when it comes out every Friday night, and specifically line item 25 on page 18, as we have a sinking feeling that as the Fed creates $85 billion in reserves every month... it will do just one thing: hand the cash right over straight to still hopelessly insolvent European banks." So with Friday having come and gone, we did just the check we suggested. As the chart below shows, we were right.

Another way of showing what has happened: in the past 4 weeks, the Fed has injected a record $237 billion of cash into foreign banks with access to the Fed's excess reserves: a number greater than both the cash influx surge seen after the Lehman collapse, and faster and more acute than the massive build up of cash during the spring and summer of 2011 when all the Fed's brand new QE2 cash was once again, solely used to overfund European bank cash.

Another way of showing precisely what we said would happen, and what is happening: in the past month, as $237 billion in cash was being handed over by Ben Bernanke to foreign banks, cash to both small and large domestically-chartered banks declined.
The result is that of the record $1.8 trillion in cash sloshing within the US financial system (consisting of US and foreign banks), a record $955 billion, or 52.6% of total is now allocated to foreign banks.

Do we know that the cash in the US financial system is purely a result of the latest open-ended QE? Yes we do, because as the chart below shows, every dollar change in excess reserves created by the Fed is tracked tick by tick by the total amount of cash held by US and foreign banks. And as the yellow area - foreign bank cash - in chart further shows, all the cash generated by QEternity has gone straight to foreign banks.

Another way of showing this correlation: the change in excess reserves vs just the change in cash assets held by foreign banks. There is no doubt on which banks' balance sheets the Fed's "excess reserves" are appearing as cash.

Finally, as a reminder there was a second part in our forecast as to what these European banks will do with this fresh prop-trade funding cash courtesy of Bernanke - they will "push the EURUSD higher, until, as in the summer of 2011 it goes far too high, crushes German, and any other net European exports, and precipitates yet another wholesale bailout of Europe by the global central bankers. Just as the Fed did in 2011."
Sure enough, it required the intervention of none other than Mario Draghi last Thursday to stop the massive, sharp ascent in the EUR in the past two months, which as we showed in the morning before the ECB's announcement on Thursday, had resulted the EUR surge by over 10% on trade-weighted terms. The reason for this intervention: to prevent the collapse of what little is left of Europe's export economy. However, unlike previously, now that Japan is also actively crushing its own currency to promote its exports over those from Germany and France, things will be just a little bit more acute as everyone scramble to be the exporter of only resort to what little import demand remains in a world where everyone is desperate to grow their trade balance through currency manipulation.

So whether European banks will continue buying the EURUSD, or redirect their Fed-cash into purchasing the ES outright, or invest in other even riskier assets, remains unknown.
What is, however, known beyond a reasonable doubt is that at least through this point, the sole beneficiary of the Fed's open-ended quantitative easing which launched in September of 2012, and which was supposed to help lower US unemployment and raise inflation (it will certainly succeed in that eventually, and what a smashing success it will be), are once again solely foreign - read almost exclusively European - banks.

Louisiana Sinkhole updates - H/T to Stuart Smith and Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle blogs.....

http://freedomrox.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/louisiana-sinkhole-answers-are-forthcoming/


Louisiana Sinkhole: Answers are Forthcoming

20130122PMinspectionphoto1_032
(Photo courtesy of LDNR)
A meeting was held on February 6, 2013 and was pre-empted by an impromptu disruption by one Cathy Simoneaux. I have no opinon of her allegations.
Unfortuately, this sensationalised story took the center stage and prevented a much greater understanding of the actual issues at hand. Many speakers gave presentations, and for once the residents of Bayou Corne got far more answers than they were prepared to handle.
Residents were literally diluged with information that took most off-guard, and having to view the videos to get even half the information that was imparted to them. This is truly understandable, considering the months of stone-walling, and jibber-jabber with no real answers. This is not the case now.
Finally an understanding of the Bayou Corne ‘Sinkhole’ may be at hand. Instead of boring you with a run down of each and every presentation, let’s just introduce the Presenters, their affiliations, and their results in a quick nutshell.
First, we had Shaw and the Louisiana Office of Conservation that hired petroleum geophysicist Don Marlin to interpret three-dimensional seismic data that Texas Brine Co. LLC is planning to collect around the sinkhole.
According to the 2007 ‘proprietary 3-D survey’ obtained from Golden Gate Petroleum, the small .3 mile survey was presented as thus:
A3D
Source: http://tinyurl.com/aurdts2   (Pages 12 and 13)
A3DII
According to Mr. Marlin, blah, blah, blah. (I can do this, no one can fire me from my own blog) <This view is from the West, as if you were looking at it from Bayou Corne>
Truth is, this 3-D Survey reveals some very telling details.  Although not definitive, it seems the working theory is this: Texas Brine milled out a section around 2350 ft. right on a major fault section closest to the casing, not considering they had very little salt to work with there. The salt is either washed away and damaging the shale formations close to the fault line, or overpumped freshwater in the millout to have accomplished the same thing.
(Start at the 5 Min. mark if it does not go there)
Here, Mr. Gary Hecox admits the geologists of the time thought the salt extended out another 1,000 ft. in 1982, yet fails to mention the voluminous records of SONAR surveys, (latest was 1997), or the Vertical Seismic Profile in 2007, which definitvely showed the cavern laying upon the shale sheath.
(Additionally a lower, lesser fault line is shown and not identified as such further north and under the sinkhole, running along the blade of the knife-looking structure in the graphic.)
This gave the fault the impetus to become active, (meaning fracturing the fault line rock formations), until over a matter of a year and a half; the fault grows bigger as does the mini-quakes, fracturing more rock as it grew, until it essentially shook the shale sheath, (upwards and downwards equally), to pieces and caused the cave in, which in turn took out the remaining shale sheath at depth and cracked the cavern portion that was known to be laying entirely on the shale rock sheath, and this caused the frack out.
This reached to a depth of about 6000 ft. since the overburfen pressures caused a momentary pressure of over 7,000 psi. It was a mighty geological explosion, as evidenced by it clearing a path to the surface, and the sinkhole culminating outside the salt dome. Most sinkholes have occured over the top of salt domes, so this is truly a geological first, and at the same level of the oil, gas, and water formations that were pressuring the shale sheath from the west side. A fact known since 2007 by LDNR, Texas Brine, and by the owner of the property, Occidental Chemical Corp.
This information should have been known months ago. The 3 D survey would have shown it just as well then, if not for Golden Gates ‘Proprietary’ legalese. In an emergency situation, nothing should be held up for months over ‘proprietary’ concerns.
Also looking at the depth of the hydrocarbon formations, then there are many culprits at varying depths, but since Oxy 3A is still producing hydrocarbons, then we do know it is at depths greater than 3700 ft. in that area. What is not known is essentially whether the uppermost formation is feeding the sinkhole or not..
I am publishing this small amount tonight, but will update tomorrow, as many other unknowns are becoming ‘knowns’. I believe the information should be there for anyone to understand, and I will endeavor over the coming days to do just that….
(To be continued)










The NEW Seismo Monitor Locations


It is on P.19 of the Shaw presentation at the meeting.
Copied here -
siesmo_NEW_2013
CLICK ON IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE





and....






http://lasinkhole.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/weekend-news-6/




Weekend News


The SHAW GROUP has put up its charts and info used at the Feb. 6thCommunity Meeting up on the DNR website.
The new DNR Inspection Report is out. Does this make sense?? They abandon work at well pad 3 because of ‘seismic activity’ but go ahead full blast with dilling at ORW #4…
Oxy-Geismar Water Well #3 (grey pump station on right just before the sinkhole):
. . . .  Well Pad 3 is closed to personnel due to recent seismic activity.
but at the bottom of the report -
ORW #4 (Observation Relief Well #4) (off HWY 70 b/w cabins & TX BRINE facility):
Remarks:  Shut In due to nearby rig/drilling work on G-03 geophone well.
NOTE: Due to sudden and large global seismic activity you may find  earthquake bulletins at our parent blog, The Flying Cuttle Picayune. There are live seismic activity world maps at Radioactive Chat. Some foreign huge quakes may show on the Bayou Corne helicorders. There was a 7.0quake just now in Columbia.



Are Sinkhole Barfs a Precursor to a Large Earthquake??


See END of the video in the next post . . .

The New Madrid earthquake of 1811 had them before it blew.



More on Mystery Booms & Earthquakes – On GAS RELEASES Making Booms(!)



He mentions Brontide events. Wikpedia says:
Brontide is a type of rumbling noise heard occasionally in some parts of the world, probably caused by seismic activity.
http://www.stuarthsmith.com/new-sinkhole-outrage-homeowners-are-losing-insurance/


NEW SINKHOLE OUTRAGE: HOMEOWNERS ARE LOSING INSURANCE

So far about the only thing that hasn’t happened to the beleaguered residents of Louisiana’s Assumption Parish is a plague of locusts.
Yet.
Since last summer, homeowners in and around the Bayou Corne community, about 70 miles west of New Orleans, have been dealing with the effects of a massive sinkhole. Some 150 families were forced out of their homes in early August, with no indication of when they’ll be allowed to return. They’ve felt the earth move under their feet, and watches strange, malodorous gases bubble up from the swamp. There’ve been warnings over what’s in the air that they breathe — about methane and radium and toxic chemicals. All the while, the hole in the ground — caused by a failing salt cavern belonging to the Texas Brine Co. — nears the size of the Louisiana Superdome.
Now this: Homeowners who’ve been driven from their homes because of this environmental calmnity are losing their insurance:
BAYOU CORNE — Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon said Tuesday his office is making a general inquiry into allegations that insurers are not renewing homeowner’s policies of residents evacuated due to the large sinkhole in Assumption Parish.
Donelon cautioned that his office has not received a formal complaint but has been asked by the parish Police Jury to look into the matter and more recently was informed by the Independent Insurance Agents of Louisiana about alleged non-renewal of policies.

What’s going on?
In interviews with two evacuated residents and parish officials in the past two weeks, some said insurers were not renewing or had threatened not to renew their policies because their homes had been left vacant for more than 30 days.
In another case, a non-renewal letter cited “increased hazard” and a “substantial change in risk” after a resident filed a claim due to tremor-induced damage. The claim was also denied. The resident and company agreed to part ways.
Residents also reported agents asked them to consider policies designed to cover vacant dwellings.
Unfortunately, this sounds like the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Local officials tell the Advocate newspaper that there’s certainly more than a couple of homeowners involved. It appears that many residents will be protected by Louisiana insurance laws that allowed thousands to continue their policies after natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina — but the scope of the situation still isn’t clear.
To me, this all smacks of the same problem we’ve seen with the sinkhole since Day One: A completely passive — and wholly inadequate — response to a crisis that just keeps getting worse by the hour. Let’s review: It all starts when state regulators chose to ignore an early 2011 warning from Texas Brine Co. of serious structural problems with the salt cavern — compounded by failing to react to the tremors, bubbling gases, and other warning signs over the summer of 2012.
Since the sinkhole emerged, the guiding force of the Jindal administration has been this: Hoping the problem goes away. Gov. Bobby Jindal refuses to visit the site — just an hour’s drive from his back door — and Louisiana has largely ceded the heavy lifting to Texas Brine. whose main passion has been trying to deny blame for the problem. Now we have local officials begging Baton Rouge to sort out this insurance mess.
The Jindal administration needs to majorly step up its game here. It needs to push for a timetable when the residents of Bayou Corne can safely return to their homes, with solid ground under their feet and clean air to breathe, and it needs to guarantee there won’t be dire consequences — like the lack of homeowners’ insurance — for citizens because of the negligence of large corporations and state regulators.
And it needs to start today.
To read coverage from the Advocate about the insurance cancellations in Assumption Parish, check out: http://theadvocate.com/news/5109404-123/residentsinsurancepoliciescanceled
For my Jan. 22 blog post asking why Gov. Jindal is afraid to visit the sinkhole, please read: http://www.stuarthsmith.com/why-is-gov-jindal-afraid-of-visiting-the-sinkhole/
For full coverage from this blog about the sinkhole crisis, check out:http://www.stuarthsmith.com/category/featured-news/louisiana-sinkhole/