by ilene - November 25th, 2014 1:19 am
Courtesy of Mish.
The US calls it a war on terror. In reality it's a war of terror. And for every innocent person killed, hundreds of friends and family members hold it against the US.
The Guardian reports 41 Men Targeted but 1,147 People Killed in US Drone Strikes.
New analysis of data conducted by human rights group Reprieve shared with the Guardian, raises questions about accuracy of intelligence guiding ‘precise’ strikes.
The drones came for Ayman Zawahiri on 13 January 2006, hovering over a village in Pakistan called Damadola. Ten months later, they came again for the man who would become al-Qaida’s leader, this time in Bajaur.
Eight years later, Zawahiri is still alive. Seventy-six children and 29 adults, according to reports after the two strikes, are not.
However many Americans know who Zawahiri is, far fewer are familiar with Qari Hussain. Drones first came for Hussain years before, on 29 January 2008. Then they came on 23 June 2009, 15 January 2010, 2 October 2010 and 7 October 2010. Finally, on 15 October 2010, Hellfire missiles fired from a Predator or Reaper drone killed Hussain, the Pakistani Taliban later confirmed. For the death of a man whom practically no American can name, the US killed 128 people, 13 of them children, none of whom it meant to harm.
The human-rights group Reprieve, indicates that even when operators target specific individuals – the most focused effort of what Barack Obama calls “targeted killing” – they kill vastly more people than their targets, often needing to strike multiple times. Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people, as of 24 November.
Some 24 men specifically targeted in Pakistan resulted in the death of 874 people. All were reported in the press as “killed” on multiple occasions, meaning that numerous strikes were aimed at each of them. The vast majority of those strikes were unsuccessful. An estimated 142 children were killed in the course of pursuing those 24 men, only six of whom died in the course of drone strikes that killed their intended targets.
There is nothing precise about intelligence that results in the deaths of 28 unknown people, including women and children, for every ‘bad guy’ the US goes after,”
by ilene - November 24th, 2014 9:59 pm
Submitted by Tyler Durden.
As we noted here, despite record high stock prices and talking-heads imploring investors to believe CEOs are confident, they are not (consider the clear indication of a lack of economic confidence from tumbling capex and soaring buybacks), That is further confirmed today as Markit's survey of over 6000 firms showed optimism falling sharply in October, dropping to the lowest seen since the survey began five years ago. Hiring and investment plans were also at or near post-crisis lows, while price expectations deteriorated further. More worrying, perhaps, is the US is not decoupled whatsoever, with future expectations of US business activity at the lowest since the financial crisis.
The Markit Global Business Outlook Survey, which looks at expectations for the year ahead across 6,100 companies, showed optimism falling sharply in October, dropping to the lowest seen since the survey began five years ago. Hiring and investment plans were also at or near post-crisis lows, while price expectations deteriorated further.
Long list of worries
The surveys highlight a growing list of concerns among companies about the outlook for the year ahead that led to a cooling of business optimism in recent months.
Key threats include fears of a worsening global economic climate, and notably a renewed downturn in the Eurozone, the prospect of higher interest rates in countries such as the UK and US next year, geopolitical risk emanating from crises in Ukraine and the Middle East, plus growing political uncertainty in many countries, notably the US, UK and Japan.
“Clouds are gathering over the global economic outlook, presenting the darkest picture seen since the global financial crisis. Companies’ hiring and investment intentions have both fallen to post-crisis lows alongside the bleakest outlook for future business activity seen over the past five years.
“Inflationary pressures are expected to ease further, meaning central banks will have leeway to keep policy looser for longer to help support economic growth, especially as the risk of deflation remains a major worry.
“Of greatest concern is the slide in business optimism and expansion plans in the US to the weakest seen over the past five
by ilene - November 24th, 2014 9:22 pm
No charges to be filed against police officer Darren Wilson for offenses ranging from involuntary manslaughter up to first degree murder (not indicted). Not surprisingly, the news sparked a night of rioting, looting and gunfire in Ferguson and protests across the nation. In Ferguson, businesses burned, 61 people were arrested, protesters threw bricks at police officers and set police cars on fire. The St. Louis police claimed the violence was worse than in August. (Source).
News first appeared on USA Today:
FERGUSON, Mo. — A white police officer will not face charges for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in a case that set off violent protests and racial unrest throughout the nation, an attorney close to the case said Monday night. (Full article)
Hopes for peaceful demonstrations vanished quickly as violence erupted right after the announcement.
FERGUSON, Mo., – Violent protests erupted here Monday after demonstrators learned there would be no criminal indictment of police officer Darren Wilson for the August shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
Demonstrators taunted police, shattered windows and set fire to two St. Louis County police cars. Scattered, intermittent gunfire was also reported. Scores of police officers, armed with riot gear, dispersed a crowd of about 300 with volley after volley of tear gas, pepper spray and bean bags. Looters plundered a Walgreen and Autozone store, while a Little Casears pizza restaurant and local beauty shop were set ablaze. (Keep reading: Violence erupts following Ferguson grand jury announcement)
How did officer Wilson escape further inquiry? Ezra Klein argues that his story makes no sense in Officer Darren Wilson's story is unbelievable. Literally.
So Brown is punching inside the car. Wilson is scrambling to deflect the blows, to protect his face, to regain control of the situation. And then Brown stops, turns to his left, says to his friend, "Here, hold these," and hands him the cigarillos stolen from Ferguson Market. Then he turns back to Wilson and, with his left hand now freed from holding the contraband goods, throws a haymaker at Wilson.
Every bullshit detector in me went off when I read that passage. Which doesn't mean that it didn't happen exactly the way Wilson
Fed “Mystified” Why Millennials Still Live at Home; My Answer May Surprise You (It Isn’t Jobs, Student Debt, or Housing)
by ilene - November 24th, 2014 3:03 pm
Courtesy of Mish.
A New York Fed research paper wonders What’s Keeping Millennials at Home? Is it Debt, Jobs, or Housing?
The paper says “it’s a mystery” why the housing recovery did not have a bigger impact on millennials living at home.
The research paper, written by Zachary Bleemer, Meta Brown, Donghoon Lee, and Wilbert van der Klaauw notes correlations to debt, jobs and housing.
Yet, “student debt only explains about 10% of the increase in parental coresidence since 2004, with another 10% being explained by house prices during the mid-2000s“.
I have the answer below, but first a few charts and notes on the charts.
- CCP is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Equifax-Sourced Consumer Credit Panel
- CPS is the Current Population Survey, a joint effort between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau
Coresidence 25-30 Year-Olds 1999-2013
Coresidence 25 Year-Olds 1999-2013 Census Corrected
Coresidence 30 Year-Olds 1999-2013 Census Corrected…
by ilene - November 24th, 2014 2:33 pm
Courtesy of The Automatic Earth
This is an article by our good friend Euan Mearns at the University of Aberdeen. It was originally published here .
- In February 2009 Phil Hart published on The Oil Drum a simple supply demand model that explained then the action in the oil price. In this post I update Phil’s model to July 2014 using monthly oil supply (crude+condensate) and price data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA).
- This model explains how a drop in demand for oil of only 1 million barrels per day can account for the fall in price from $110 to below $80 per barrel.
- The future price will be determined by demand, production capacity and OPEC production constraint. A further fall in demand of the order 1 Mbpd may see the price fall below $60. Conversely, at current demand, an OPEC production cut of the order 1 Mbpd may send the oil price back up towards $100. It seems that volatility has returned to the oil market.
Figure 1 An adaptation of Phil Hart’s oil supply demand model. The blue supply line is constrained by data (see Figure 4). The red demand lines are conceptual. Prior to 2004, oil supply was fairly elastic to changes in price, i.e. a small rise in price led to a large rise in production. This is explained by OPEC opening and closing the taps. Post 2004, oil supply became inelastic to price, i.e. a large change in price led to marginal increase in supply. This is explained by the world pumping flat out. Demand tends to be fairly inelastic and inversely correlated with price in that high price suppresses demand a little. Supply and price at any point in time is defined by the intersection of the supply and demand curves. 72 Mbpd and $40 / bbl in 2004 became 76 Mbpd and $120 / bbl in 2008 as demand for oil soared against inelastic supply.
by ilene - November 24th, 2014 1:03 pm
Courtesy of Global Economic Intersection
By Rod Garratt and Rosa Hayes – Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
In June 2014, the mining pool Ghash.IO briefly controlled more than half of all mining power in the Bitcoin network, awakening fears that it might attempt to manipulate the blockchain, the public record of all Bitcoin transactions. Alarming headlines splattered the blogosphere. But should members of the Bitcoin community be worried?
Miners are members of the Bitcoin community who engage in a process that validates new additions to the blockchain in exchange for a reward that comes in the form of newly issued bitcoins. The process is essentially a tournament, where the likelihood that a miner receives a reward is proportional to the amount of computing power he or she employs. Mining pools are groups of miners that pool their computational resources together and split the rewards. An individual or group of miners that provides more than 50 percent of computational power to the validation process can manipulate the blockchain, but this power is limited by the fact that blockchain is, as mentioned above, a public record; no one can add false transactions to the blockchain.
There are only two manipulations a controlling pool could attempt: refusing to validate specific transactions (which prevents people from sending bitcoins between addresses) or reversing transactions the pool sends during the time it is in control. Such actions would likely lead to a huge decline in the value of bitcoin, if not a complete collapse of the entire system. So would it be worth it for a pool of miners to manipulate the blockchain?
Think of the situation as an infinitely (or indefinitely) repeated game. Is there a one-shot manipulation that will earn the controlling mining pool more than its expected future earnings? If not, then the pool has little incentive to manipulate the blockchain, as doing so would destroy its source of future income. We argue that the incentives for a 51 percent attack are low given the current conditions of the bitcoin market, but that the incentive for such an attack may increase in the future.
The Current Situation
by ilene - November 24th, 2014 12:19 pm
Courtesy of Mish.
Last week France asked for a "New Deal" with "Real Money" not fake EU promises.
France was a bit wary (and rightly so) over sleight of hand math from Jean-Claude Juncker, the new head of the European Commission.
Today we have the facts.
Juncker's €315bn EU Slush Fund looks like this.
95% Leveraged Magic, 5% Fund
- €16bn from the EU budget
- €5bn in guarantees from the European Investment Bank (EIB)
- €299bn is magic.
Supposedly, private money will come up with €299bn based on €5bn in guarantees.
Of course someone has to administer this action plan. So Juncker unveiled a new “investment advisory hub” run by "financial professionals" with direction from the European Commission and EIB.
After padding their own pockets, the group will decide which projects to undertake, no doubt based on kickbacks, bribes, and political favoritism to friends.
To make the deal even sweeter for their political cronies, the EU will offer a “first-loss” guarantee, where the EU money would absorb any initial investment losses in an effort to “crowd in” private investors looking for more secure upside.
Given that it's all funny money anyway, I have a question: Why not provide €50bn in guarantees raising €2.99 trillion in the process?
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
by ilene - November 24th, 2014 10:08 am
Courtesy of Pam Martens.
Last Friday, the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, chaired by Sherrod Brown, effectively put William Dudley, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in stocks in the village square and engaged in a rather brilliant style of public shaming. With each well-formed question posed by the panel, Dudley’s jaded leadership of a hubristic regulator came into ever sharper focus.
There were a number of elephants in the room during the lengthy session that were only briefly touched upon but deserve greater scrutiny by the press. First, Congress knew that the New York Fed was a failed, crony regulator during the lead up to the financial collapse in 2008, but it granted it an even greater supervisory role under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation in 2010. This Congress has also failed to engage in public shaming of President Obama for brazenly ignoring the Dodd-Frank’s statutory mandate that calls for him to appoint, subject to Senate confirmation, a Vice Chairman for Supervision at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, who could have shaped and monitored a more credible policing role for the New York Fed.
Section 1108 of Dodd-Frank requires: “The Vice Chairman for Supervision shall develop policy recommendations for the Board regarding supervision and regulation of depository institution holding companies and other financial firms supervised by the Board, and shall oversee the supervision and regulation of such firms.” President Obama was required to nominate this individual once the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act became effective; that was July 21, 2010 – more than four years ago. The President has simply ignored this provision of the law – no doubt to the extreme satisfaction of Wall Street.
The final elephant is that as a result of giving a failed regulator enhanced power and failing to appoint a person to a leadership role in supervision, the U.S. Senate has effectively become Wall Street’s cop on the beat, doing the job the New York Fed’s cronyism prevents it from doing.
by ilene - November 24th, 2014 9:05 am
Courtesy of ZeroHedge
On one hand, the US middle class has rarely if ever had it worse. At least, if one actually dares to venture into this thing called the real world, and/or believes the NYT's report: "Falling Wages at Factories Squeeze the Middle Class." Some excerpts:
For nearly 20 years, Darrell Eberhardt worked in an Ohio factory putting together wheelchairs, earning $18.50 an hour, enough to gain a toehold in the middle class and feel respected at work. He is still working with his hands, assembling seats for Chevrolet Cruze cars at the Camaco auto parts factory in Lorain, Ohio, but now he makes $10.50 an hour and is barely hanging on. “I’d like to earn more,” said Mr. Eberhardt, who is 49 and went back to school a few years ago to earn an associate’s degree. “But the chances of finding something like I used to have are slim to none.”Even as the White House and leaders on Capitol Hill and in Fortune 500 boardrooms all agree that expanding the country’s manufacturing base is a key to prosperity, evidence is growing that the pay of many blue-collar jobs is shrinking to the point where they can no longer support a middle-class life.
In short: America's manufacturing sector is being obliterated: "A new study by the National Employment Law Project, to be released on Friday, reveals that many factory jobs nowadays pay far less than what workers in almost identical positions earned in the past.
Perhaps even more significant, while the typical production job in the manufacturing sector paid more than the private sector average in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, that relationship flipped in 2007, and line work in factories now pays less than the typical private sector job. That gap has been widening — in 2013, production jobs paid an average of $19.29
by ilene - November 24th, 2014 8:32 am
Courtesy of Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,
Central banks around the world share a few simple goals:
- Defeat deflation by sparking inflation--in the cost of goods and services, not wages.
- Weaken the currency to boost exports and counter beggar thy neighbor devaluations by other exporting nations and trading blocs.
- Boost the value of stocks to keep pension plans afloat and project a politically powerful message of "growth" and "prosperity."
Should central banks succeed in jacking up inflation, devaluing the purchasing power of fiat currencies and pushing stocks to the moon, they will have failed their citizenry. Should they succeed in reaching their goals, they will trigger catastrophic instability.