by ilene - July 23rd, 2014 3:51 am
Courtesy of Mish.
I have strong evidence from Ukrainian citizen Anatoly Shary that Kiev is caught in a third major lie regarding Buk deployment.
It takes a while to go over the evidence, condensed below, all having to do with the number 312 painted on a missile launcher.
Follow the Number
On March 8, Censor.Net, a Ukrainian Nationalist cite, says “Ukraine Defends Donetsk From Russian Incursion: ‘Buk’ Air Defense Rocket Systems Are Taking Up Positions. PHOTO + VIDEO”
The sub-headline reads: “A resident of Gorlovka, driving to work in Soledar, came across an entire convoy of military equipment. …My coworkers and I counted 11 missile launchers …”
Image Posted on Censor
I captured the entire page for posterity just in case someone needs it.
Here is a video posted on the same page.
I stopped the video precisely at the 37 second mark. This is what I saw:
by ilene - July 22nd, 2014 8:54 pm
Courtesy of Mish.
Earlier today, and several times recently, I received emails accusing me of being a Russian spy and asking me how much I was receiving from RT. I find such accusations highly amusing.
Here's the deal: Few bloggers are willing to discuss MH17 for fear of getting it wrong. Whereas I suspect nearly everything, but especially reports coming from Kiev and the US. My reasons are threefold:
- There are more questions surrounding Kiev and US reports than Russian reports.
- Kiev has been caught twice in lies and distortions
- While neither US nor Russia is unbiased, the extremely one-sided, jump-to-conclusion reporting from Western media suggests close consideration of competing versions of stories is warranted.
No Perry Mason Moment
A few hours ago The Guardian reported US Intelligence: Rebels Likely Shot Down Plane 'By Mistake'.
The Huffington Post has more details in U.S. Officials: No Evidence Of Direct Russian Link To Malaysia Plane Crash.
Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for "creating the conditions" that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.
The intelligence officials were cautious in their assessment, noting that while the Russians have been arming separatists in eastern Ukraine, the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.
The officials briefed reporters Tuesday under ground rules that their names not be used in discussing intelligence related to last week's air disaster, which killed 298 people.
The plane was likely shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, the intelligence officials said, citing intercepts, satellite photos and social media postings by separatists, some of which have been authenticated by U.S. experts.
But the officials said they did not know who fired the missile or whether any Russian operatives were present at the missile launch. They were not certain that the missile crew was trained in Russia, although they described a stepped-up campaign in recent weeks by Russia to arm and train the rebels, which they say has continued even after the downing of the commercial jetliner.
In terms of
by ilene - July 22nd, 2014 8:02 pm
Courtesy of David Stockman via Contra Corner
Professor Krugman is at it again—–conjuring fairy tales about a benign long-term fiscal outlook. Notwithstanding that the public debt has surged from 40% to 75% of GDP during the six short years since 2008, he claims there is no reason to fret and that there is no debt spiral anywhere in the future. In part that’s because the Keynesian priesthood has declared that interest rates have down-shifted on a permanent basis. CBO has therefore dutifully incorporated this assumption into its long-term projections:
This (interest rate) markdown has the effect of making the budget outlook — which was already a lot less dire than conventional wisdom has it — look even less dire. But there’s a further point worth emphasizing: the CBO has just declared an end to the debt spiral.
Even accepting CBO’s “rosy scenario” outlook (see below), it’s not evident that it has declared an end to the debt spiral. In fact, it projects publicly-held treasury debt to soar from $12 trillion today to about $52 trillion by 2039. Most people would judge that a spiral. Indeed, as shown in the CBO graph below based on “current policy”, the public debt ratio is heading sharply upwards to more than 100% of GDP.
So how does professor Krugman turn this dismal chart into an “all clear” reassurance–when it actually shows public debt heading to above WWII levels at a time when the baby boom is at peak retirement? Well, it seems that Krugman unearthed two numbers in a 182 page report that purportedly render harmless the $52 trillion of bonds, notes and bills that CBO projects will need to find a home at the historically low interest rates it forecasts for the next 25 years.
So we turn to Table A-1 on page 104 of the CBO report, and we learn that for the next 25 years CBO projects an average interest rate on federal debt of 4.1 percent and an average growth rate of nominal GDP of 4.3 percent. And this means no debt spiral at all.
A GDP growth rate higher than the average carry cost of the public debt sounds all good, but here’s the thing. Given outcomes during the 21st century to date, there is simply no plausible reason to believe that nominal GDP can grow at a 4.3% CAGR for the next 25 years. In fact, since the…
by ilene - July 22nd, 2014 7:35 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
Perhaps the one chart that is most praised following every Apple's quarterly earnings report is the one showing the company's gargantuan cash trove, and sure enough, this quarter was no exception for good reason: AAPL's total cash and equivalents, including its short and long-term investments just rose to a record $164.5 billion, as shown below.
There is one problem with this chart: it includes the contribution of AAPL's debt, because while pundits are quick to praise AAPL's cash, they forget that starting in Q3 2013 AAPL also started loading up on debt, first $17 billion, and as of this quarter, the debt has now grown to $29 billion.
Why? For the simple reason that the bulk of AAPL's cash hoard has been held offshore since 2009, and only $18.4 billion, or the least since September 2010, was on the domestic books as of the March 31 quarter (the June 30 update won't be available until the 10-Q is filed).
Clearly, AAPL doesn't want to pay cash taxes on its repatriated cash, so for the past year it has been issuing debt instead to fund dividends and buybacks. Which also means that one has to net out the debt when looking at the firm's net cash level.
It is this – Apple's cash net of its debt - which is shown on the chart below. Contrary to the chart at the top, it shows that Apple's cash has actually not increased at all in the past 7 quarters, and at June 30 was $135 billion, below the $137 billion AAPL had in December 2012 when it launched its aggressive "shareholder friendly" strategy in the form of massive dividends and stock buybacks.
The good news is that for now, courtesy of its massive cash cushion, any incremental debt is merely a blip, but what was $0 less than two years ago has promptly grown to $29 billion, a far faster pace of growth than AAPL's own organice cash creation. At this rate, in a year or two, even S&P may start asking if AAPL's AA+ rated debt is truly worth the same rating as the US itself.
by ilene - July 22nd, 2014 7:10 pm
Courtesy of Tim Richards of the PsyFi Blog
Homo sapiens is the storytelling ape. We make sense of the things that happen in the world, of the things that happen to us, and even of ourselves, through stories and narratives. Consciousness is perhaps best defined as the stories we tell of ourselves as coherent individuals passing through time.
So it's not surprising that we're inclined to favor people who tell stories over those who crunch data. Words are human, numbers – somehow – are not. But the real stories lie in the numbers and, in investment, people who tell stories without the numbers are mystics and shamans, or worse.
by ilene - July 22nd, 2014 7:04 pm
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summed it up the other day when he said, “We use our rockets to protect our women and children; they [Hamas] use their women and children to protect their rockets.”
Some time ago, the Left adopted the Palestinians as their pet oppressed minority group so there is nothing that Israel might do that will be okay with them, except to commit suicide, that is, cease to exist — which is the stated policy of Hamas. Every time Israel refuses the suggestion that it cease to exist, the Left becomes inflamed. They cannot imagine why Israel would prefer to fight for its existence than to roll over and die.
The Palestinian leadership doesn’t really want to talk about any resolution to the enduring crisis in which Israel is granted the right to exist. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for negotiation, and so they have literally painted themselves into a geographical corner of the region called the Gaza Strip where one of their other policies is to grow the Palestinian population in the hopes of eventually wiping Israel off the map by sheer demographic pressure. The political Right Wing of Israel is using exactly the same tactic in the contested West Bank. All of that is tragic, of course, because when the oil age comes to an end the entire region of the southern Levant will probably support one-twentieth of the population of all ethnic groups.
The New York Times reported that street protests against Israel had broken out in London and Paris, giving the impression that some broad national sentiment was being expressed when, in fact, the protesters were from the large Muslim communities that these nations had foolishly invited to immigrate there. Has anyone in the West still failed to notice the pugnacity of Islam in our time? Islam does not want to co-exist with the West anymore than the Palestinians want to grant Israel the right to exist.
Luckily for the West, there is enough animosity between the Islamic factions to distract Islam from its mission to defeat all the great-and-small Satans cluttering up their world. All this is happening as that world lurches
by ilene - July 22nd, 2014 6:53 pm
Courtesy of Zero Hedge
Ten days ago Bloomberg reported that as a result of various tax dodges, one of the fastest-trading hedge funds in the US, Jim Simmons' Renaissance Technologies, had managed to avoid paying ordinary income tax on billions in profits, by classifying trades that often times had a holding period of minutes if not seconds, as a long-term capital gain. As part of this finding, it was reported that there would be a hearing chaired by none other than Carl "Shitty Deal" Levin scheduled for tomorrow morning when yet another tax loophole abused by not only RenTec but all of its high churn and HFT peers (because the "friends and family" Medallion is at its core the original HFT fund) would be exposed for all to see. Moments ago, in advance of tomorrow's 9:30 am hearing, the permanent subcommittee on investigations released a 93 page report on just how it was that RenTec engaged in the "improper use of this structured financial product, known as basket options."
As the preamble to the report notes:
The report outlines how Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Bank PLC, over the course of more than a decade, sold financial products known as basket options to more than a dozen hedge funds. From 1998 to 2013, the banks sold 199 basket options to hedge funds which used them to conduct more than $100 billion in trades. The subcommittee focused on options involving two of the largest basket option users, Renaissance Technology Corp. LLC (“RenTec”) and George Weiss Associates.
The hedge funds often exercised the options shortly after the one-year mark and claimed the trading profits were eligible for the lower income tax rate that applies to long-term capital gains on assets held for at least a year. RenTec claimed it could treat the trading profits as long term gains, even though it executed an average of 26 to 39 million trades per year and held many positions for mere seconds.
Data provided by the participants indicates that basket options produced about $34 billion in trading profits for RenTec alone, and more than $1 billion in financing and trading fees for the two banks.
Split Appeals Court Rulings on Obamacare Subsidies; Pizza Party for Obama? How Much Would Premiums Rise?
by ilene - July 22nd, 2014 6:15 pm
Courtesy of Mish.
Earlier today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated a major provision of Obamacare, ruling 2-1 that participants in health exchanges run by the federal government in 34 states are not eligible for tax subsidies.
No doubt, cheers went out from the anti-Obamacare crowd.
However, just a few hours later, the Richmond Appeals Court ruled 3-0 the opposite way, citing pizza in its explanation.
The New York Times reports Courts Issue Conflicting Rulings on Health Care Law.
Two federal appeals court panels issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on whether the government could subsidize health insurance premiums for people in three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange. The decisions are the latest in a series of legal challenges to central components of President Obama’s health care law.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, upheld the subsidies, saying that a rule issued by the Internal Revenue Service was “a permissible exercise of the agency’s discretion.”
The ruling came within hours of a 2-to-1 ruling by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which said that the government could not subsidize insurance for people in states that use the federal exchange.
That decision could potentially cut off financial assistance for more than 4.5 million people who were found eligible for subsidized insurance in the federal exchange, or marketplace.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the appeals court here said, subsidies are available only to people who obtained insurance through exchanges established by states.
The law “does not authorize the Internal Revenue Service to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal exchanges,” said the ruling, by a three-judge panel in Washington. The law, it said, “plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states.”
Under this ruling, many people could see their share of premiums increase sharply, making insurance unaffordable for them.
by ilene - July 22nd, 2014 3:37 pm
Courtesy of Jesse's Cafe Americian
This is a view of how we got here and where we are going that you are unlikely to hear from the mainstream media.
Sorting Through All the Possibilities; Ukraine Accuses Russia of Deliberately Downing MH17; Brawl in Ukraine Parliament; Rush to Judgment
by ilene - July 22nd, 2014 2:37 pm
Courtesy of Mish.
Only the person or persons who fired the missile know the truth for sure. Yet Ukraine now says “Russian Officer Downed MH17“.
A brawl then ensued in Ukrainian Parliament following a vote to increase troops battling rebels.
Vitaly Nayda, Ukraine’s director of informational security, made the accusation in an interview with CNN. The person was “absolutely” a Russian, he said. “A Russian-trained, well-equipped, well-educated officer … pushed that button deliberately.”
Moscow has denied claims that it pulled the trigger. And Russian Army Lt. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov suggested a Ukrainian jet fighter may have shot the plane down.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko rejected that in an exclusive interview with CNN, saying that all Ukrainian aircraft were on the ground at the time.
Nayda, speaking to CNN on Tuesday, referred to audio recordings captured by Ukrainian intelligence. “We taped conversations” between a Russian officer and his office in Moscow, Nayda said. “We know for sure that several minutes before the missile was launched, there was a report” to a Russian officer that the plane was coming, Nayda said.
“They knew the plane was coming with constant speed, in constant direction,” and should have known it was not a fighter jet but “a big civilian plane,” he said.
That recording is not among those that have been released.
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, was asked Monday about different intercepted recordings, purportedly of pro-Russian rebels talking about shooting down a plane. Churkin suggested that if they did, it was an accident.
“According to them, the people from the east were saying that they shot down a military jet,” he said. “If they think they shot down a military jet, it was confusion. If it was confusion, it was not an act of terrorism.”
Pro-Russian rebels have repeatedly denied responsibility for the attack. “This is an information war,” rebel leader Alexander Borodai said.
Interested in the Truth
“We don’t have the technical ability to destroy this plane. Ukrainians are not interested in the truth,” said Borodai….