On the afternoon of November 1, 2010, Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks.org, marched with his lawyer into the London office of Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian. Assange was pallid and sweaty, his thin frame racked by a cough that had been plaguing him for weeks. He was also angry, and his message was simple: he would sue the newspaper if it went ahead and published stories based on the quarter of a million documents that he had handed over to The Guardian just three months earlier. The encounter was one among many twists and turns in the collaboration between WikiLeaks—a four-year-old nonprofit that accepts anonymous submissions of previously secret material and publishes them on its Web site—and some of the world’s most respected newspapers. The collaboration was unprecedented, and brought global attention to a cache of confidential documents—embarrassing when not disturbing—about American military and diplomatic activity around the world. But the partnership was also troubled from the start.
In Rusbridger’s office, Assange’s position was rife with ironies. An unwavering advocate of full, unfettered disclosure of primary-source material, Assange was now seeking to keep highly sensitive information from reaching a broader audience. He had become the victim of his own methods: someone at WikiLeaks, where there was no shortage of disgruntled volunteers, had leaked the last big segment of the documents, and they ended up at The Guardian in such a way that the paper was released from its previous agreement with Assange—that The Guardian would publish its stories only when Assange gave his permission. Enraged that he had lost control, Assange unleashed his threat, arguing that he owned the information and had a financial interest in how and when it was released.
The Guardian partnership was the first of its kind between a mainstream media organization and WikiLeaks. The future of such collaborations remains very much in doubt. WikiLeaks, torn by staff defections, technical problems, and a crippling shortage of money, has been both battered and rejuvenated by the events of the past several months. A number of companies—PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard—stopped acting as conduits for donations, even as international publicity has attracted high-profile supporters and many new donors. Kristinn Hrafnsson, a close associate of Assange’s and a WikiLeaks spokesman, promises that WikiLeaks will pursue legal action against the companies. Although it is not known where the instigation came from, hackers launched a wave of sympathy…
A former Swiss banker was on Monday due to hand over files to WikiLeaks which he alleges detail attempts by wealthy business leaders and lawmakers to evade tax payments.
Rudolf Elmer, a former employee of Swiss-based Bank Julius Baer, told Britain’s Observer newspaper on Sunday that the documents include details of about 2,000 accounts held in offshore financial centers. He says the account holders include "high net worth" celebrities, business leaders and lawmakers from the U.S., Britain and Asia.
Elmer’s press conference comes two days before he is due to appear before a Zurich regional court to answer charges of coercion and violating Switzerland’s strict banking secrecy laws.
He told the Observer newspaper he planned to disclose the new set of files to expose activities in offshore financial centers. "The one thing on which I am absolutely clear is that the banks know, and the big boys know, that money is being secreted away for tax-evasion purposes," he was quoted as telling the newspaper.
Rudolf Elmer, an ex-employee of Swiss-based Bank Julius Baer, said there were 2,000 account holders named in the documents, but refused to give details of the companies or individuals involved.
He has previously offered files to WikiLeaks on financial activities in the Cayman Islands and faces a court hearing in Zurich on Wednesday to answer charges of coercion and violating Switzerland’s strict banking secrecy laws.
"I do think as a banker I have the right to stand up if something is wrong," said Elmer, who addressed reporters at London’s Frontline Club alongside WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
"I am against the system. I know how the system works and I know the day-to-day business. From that point of view, I wanted to let society know what I know. It is damaging our society," Elmer said.
Britain’s tax authority declined to comment when asked about Assange’s plan to supply details of alleged wrongdoing.
Under the terms of his release on bail, Assange must live at the mansion home of Vaughan Smith, the owner of the Frontline Club. He has compared the regime to "high-tech house arrest," but has recently promised that the flow of leaked documents published by his organization would increase.
Let’s be clear here: A year ago, Assange said he had the hard drive of a Bank of America executive. More recently, he’s said that WikiLeaks is preparing to disclose evidence of an “ecosystem of corruption” at a big US bank. He expects the disclosures to cause resignations. There’s a widespread expectations that Bank of America is the target, even though Assange has been coy about that.
But one thing that’s highly unlikely is that Assange is making this up.
It’s possible everyone is wrong in connecting the dots here. Maybe the new megaleak has nothing to do with Bank of America. It’s also possible that Assange is over-confident in the importance of his information.
WikiLeaks has moved its site twice already and now its domain name has been shut down because of massive cyber attacks.
In my opinion these coordinated attacks come from government agencies around the world who do not want to be embarrassed by WikiLeaks data. If it’s not government agencies, then who is it?
Moreover, and by extension, governments (or whoever is doing this) could shut down any site via these same kind of massive coordinated cyber attacks. If I am correct, data gathered about the success or failure of these suppression efforts will feed into every military contingency plan in the world.
The first casualty of war is the truth, and what better way to shut off the truth than killing internet sites not to one’s liking.
Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has been forced to change its web address after the company providing its domain name cut off service.
EveryDNS.net said it had terminated services because Wikileaks.org had come under massive cyber attacks. But Wikileaks has already reappeared using a Swiss web address.
The more of these sites there are, the more difficult it will be to shut Wikileaks down, security analyst Paul Mutton told the BBC.
In France, Industry Minister Eric Besson has called for a ban of Wikileaks on French servers.
In a statement on its website, EveryDNS.net said it had issued a 24-hour termination notice to Wikileaks which ended at 0300 GMT on 2 December.
It said the domain wikileaks.org had become the target of "multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks".
"These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other websites," it said.
A site as controversial and savvy as Wikileaks has plenty up its sleeve, like the mysterious encrypted file labelled ‘insurance’, which is believed to have been posted on Bit Torrent and is rumoured to contain all the leaks.
Stephen Sackur will be hosting a special programme debating the effect of the leaks – Wikileaks: Open Secret at 1630GMT on BBC World News & 1930GMT on the BBC World Service
Does anyone seriously think this is not a case of too, little, to late? Moreover, the more governments try to prevent access, the more curious people will become about what is…
"Today the Whitehouse put out a private briefing to reporters about Wikileaks and me and it quoted a section from an interview with me in Die Spiegel saying that I enjoy crushing ——--.
"Somehow the Whitehouse finds that offensive.
"In terms of returning to the United States I don’t know. Our sources advise from inside the US government that there were thoughts of whether I could be charged as a co-conspirator to espionage, which is serious.
"That doesn’t seem to be the thinking within the United States any more however there is the other possibility of being detained as a material witness and being kept either in confinement or not being allowed to leave the country until the Manning case is concluded."
You can implode our banking system all you want but don’t you dare mess with our 9 year long wars.
Today the US Treasury auctioned 21bln 10yr notes (re-opened the Nov-2023 issue).
Going into today's 10yr auction, ever since the NFP number at 8:30am on last Friday, the US treasury market has been in short covering mode. There was a markets survey that indicated the active trading participants in the treasury market were extremely short (by over 30% which is huge) a full week before the NFP data was released, and the short position continued to build as we approached NFP. The NFP number was strong (+200k jobs) and so the mkt immediately repriced lower as you would expect. However, the important piece of information was not the NFP number...no, the important information was the mk...
Stocks fell as investors reacted negatively to the adoption of the “Volcker rule”, which prohibits banks from proprietary trading.
The major stock indices took hard falls on Wednesday, as investors pondered the future of a stock market without proprietary trading by banks. Most stocks were in the red on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve and four financial regulatory agencies adopted the so-called “Volcker rule”, named after former Fed Chair, Paul Volcker.
Although Volcker was not personally involved in writing the 71-page document, it resulted from Volcker’s insistence that the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act should include prohibitions on proprietary trading by banks, to prevent those institutions from taking on ex...
US stock indexes nosedived today, with the benchmark S&P 500 losing 1.13%. The index hit its intraday high, up 0.02%, five minutes into the session and then cascaded to a mid-day trading range, down about half a percent, that held until shortly before the final hour. It then continued the slide to its worst percentage loss since the 1.32% selloff on November 11th.
The popular financial press attributes today's selling to the news of a budget deal in congress, e.g., the CNBC spin: "the provisional budget deal in Washington raised speculation that the Federal Reserve could pull back on its stimulus program soon."
Lest today's slump seem overly gloomy, note that the 1.32% decline on November 7th was followed by a 1.34% gain the following day.
SHLD – Sears Holdings Corp. – Options volume on Sears today rose well above the average daily level for the stock during morning trading, with the bulk of the activity concentrated in far out of the money Jan 2014 expiry puts. Overall volume on the stock is approaching 30,000 contracts just before midday in New York, roughly 155% of SHLD’s average daily options volume of around 18,000 contracts. Shares in Sears are off 0.70% at $46.54 at present, off earlier session lows that saw the stock touch down to $45.98, the lowest level since September 5th.
Alan Blinder, a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, is back at it.
In an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal Blinders says "Don't only drop the interest rate paid on banks' excess reserves, charge them."
Please consider The Fed Plan to Revive High-Powered Money. Unless you are part of the tiny portion of humanity that dotes on every utterance of the Federal Open Market Committee, you probably missed an important statement regarding the arcane world of "excess reserves" buried deep in the minutes of its Oct. 29-30 policy meeting. It reads: "[M]ost participants thought that a reduction by the Board of Governors in the interest rate paid on excess reserves could be worth ...
Today, with very little market moving news, the S&P 500 closed at 1808.4, yet another new closing daily high. The index did touch the 1811 area on at least three distinctly different time slots creating a new resistance level. But after last week’s bevy of positive economic surprises, the sharp gain of 1.1% on Friday, leaving the index just a tiny point away from its ninth consecutive up week, we can’t be too quick to suggest today was a topping rally. For one thing, volume was quite low as traders seemed to be trying to sort out the odds on the earliest date of Fed tapering. Estimates range from this month to March and even later. But it’s going to happen…so why so much emphasis on when? Perhaps protection of end-of-the-year profits in so many fund managers portfolios? ...
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This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).
We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.
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These rallies are becoming familiar. In early July we saw a streak of 12 of 13 sessions in a row up, early September 11 of 12, and mid October 11 of 13 (current streak). It is a bit uncanny the similarities and how the escalator goes straight up in vertical ascent as we see indexes come out of mini corrections during QE. So we are about at the same stage where the last two began to tire, so it will be interesting if this is similar or if the current consensus of the market that there is nothing to worry about until next year as the Fed and D.C. are both off the table and this 3% annual growth rate in earnings we are now seeing in the S...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
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Come and get it! Read all about it! Biotechs, biotechs and more biotechs to buy buy buy for your portfolio! To date, almost 30 biotech companies have hit the market. Most of the time, there are fewer than 10-12!
For the last five years, biotechs have had issues obtaining offer prices above expectations. In 2013, that trend looks to be broken. According to BiotechNow, the offer prices are 4% above expectations! In addition, biotechs are going public with little more than a wing and a prayer (pre-clinical or Phase 1 data only). Really? What this means is that the drug or technology looks good in mice, rats, or dogs, etc, but there is no smidgen of evidence that it will work in humans. That's what is called an appitite for RISK!
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