Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Treasury’

How the Fed and the Treasury Stonewalled Mark Pittman to His Dying Breath

How the Fed and the Treasury Stonewalled Mark Pittman to His Dying Breath

Courtesy of PAM MARTENS

NEW YORK - MAY 02:  Reporter Mark Pittman on stage at the premiere and panel discussion of 'American Casino' during the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival at Directors Guild Theater on May 2, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Originally published at CounterPunch

On the President’s first day in office on January 21, 2009, he issued an Open Government memo promising the American people a new era of transparency. On March 19, 2009, under the President’s orders, the Attorney General’s office issued detailed guidelines on how Federal agencies were to respond going forward to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.  The guidelines instructed the agencies as follows:

“The key frame of reference for this new mind set is the purpose behind the FOIA. The statute is designed to open agency activity to the light of day. As the Supreme Court has declared: ‘FOIA is often explained as a means for citizens to know what their Government is up to.’ NARA v. Favish, 541 U.S. 157, 171 (2004) (quoting U.S. Dep’t of Justice v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749, 773 (1989)…The President’s FOIA Memoranda directly links transparency with accountability which, in turn, is a requirement of a democracy. The President recognized the FOIA as ‘the most prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring open Government.’  Agency personnel, therefore, should keep the purpose of the FOIA — ensuring an open Government — foremost in their mind.” 

It pains me to inform you, Mr. President, but the Treasury Department, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and Securities and Exchange Commission (the trio that has been variously distracted minting trillions in currency, trading cash for trash with Wall Street, surfing for porn, or mishandling multiple voluminous tips on Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme) have misplaced your memo or, as many suspect, take their marching orders not from you but from Wall Street — perhaps because they perceive that this is where you take your orders too.

On October 6, 2010, I filed three FOIA requests with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  I had come by information that the official government report on the stock market’s “Flash Crash” of May 6, 2010 was materially wrong and I wanted to buttress my investigative report to the public with documents the SEC had obtained or compiled in conducting its investigation.

I followed the SEC’s FOIA instructions and emailed the requests to foiapa@sec.gov as instructed by the web site, asking for a small amount of very…
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The Great Afghanistan Bank Run

The Great Afghanistan Bank Run

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

Did we mention we bombed the sh*t out of the bank?!

Here’s the quick sitch: Kabul Bank – Afghanistan’s largest – is under attack by depositors who have removed some $155 million in deposits in the last two days after news that the bank had been running a questionable operation and loaning money to insiders like Mahmood Karzai, brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai. Karzai is a Kabul Bank shareholder, naturally. The bank’s chairman Sherkhan Farnood decided an island shaped like a palm tree in Dubai would be a great investment so he took it upon himself to invest $160 billion of the bank’s assets in said palm tree islands and, for convenience’s sake, put the properties in his name. Who wouldn’t?

The U.S. government didn’t find these activities to be entertainment and swooped in to stop the nonsense. Unfortunately now they may be required to prop up Afghanistan’s already precarious financial system. Oh well, they’re experts in doing that at this point, if they could save Bank of America I’m sure they can save some corrupt Afghan bank.

MSNBC:

A senior U.S. official in Kabul told NBC that in recent weeks, Gen. David Petraeus, commander of international forces in the country, and other U.S. officials had “forcefully” urged President Karzai to crack down on the bank.

After reviewing the bank’s activities, “we didn’t like what we saw,” said the official. In particular, the official said, U.S. officials — “and many Afghans” — were upset that the country’s assets, much of which has been derived from billions of dollars in western aid, were being taken out of the country and invested elsewhere.

The U.S. prodding apparently prompted President Karzai to direct Afghanistan’s Central Bank to move in and oust Farnood, the bank’s chairman, and Khalilullah Frozi, the bank’s chief executive officer, from their positions. The reports of the move, first reported by the Washington Post, triggered the run on deposits that has now threatened the bank.

U.S. officials, under the direction of David Cohen, assistant secretary of the treasury for counterterrorism, are closely monitoring the situation and have dispatched a team to assist officials of the Afghan Finance Ministry as they grapple with how to deal with fallout from the bank withdrawals, a Treasury Department official said Thursday.

"U.S. officials in


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Goldman Sachs Charged With Fraud: Who Could Have Guessed? Part III

Goldman Sachs Charged With Fraud: Who Could Have Guessed? Part III 
The firm’s history suggests its vulnerability in periods of negative social mood.

By Elliott Wave International

For the full GS/Fraud article, parts I-III, click here.>>

In the November 2009 issue of Elliott Wave International’s monthly Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, co-editors Steven Hochberg and Peter Kendall published a careful study of Goldman Sachs history — and made a sobering forecast for its future.  Here is our special report, Part III. 

Special Section: A Flickering Financial Star, Part III

With the market’s downtrend recently in abeyance, these transgressions failed to capture the imagination of the public or the scrutiny of law enforcement. But the extreme recriminatory power of the next leg down in social mood suggests that Goldman’s dealings will become a lighting rod for public discontent.

In January 2008, Elliott Wave Financial Forecast noted that Goldman’s success relative to the rest of Wall Street pointed “to the eventual appearance of a much larger public relations problem in the future. In the negative-mood times that accompany bear markets, conflict of interest charges will come pouring out.” The recent revelations about Paulson’s and Friedman’s actions are exactly that to which we were referring. Additional claims against Goldman — including front-running its clients and profiting from inside information — are already too numerous to mention. As the bear market intensifies, the firm will attract scrutiny as easily as it brushed it off in the mid-2000s.

Based strictly on the form of its advance, a July 2007 issue of The Short Term Update called for a peak in Goldman shares at $234. Goldman managed one more new high to $250 in October 2007; it then fell 81 percent to a low of $47 in November 2008. The stock market’s wave 2 rise brought Goldman back to $193 on October 14. Its affinity for marching in lock-step with the DJIA strongly suggests that Goldman will decline to below its November 2008 low.

Another key socionomic trait is for the most successful recipients of bull-market goodwill to be singled out for special treatment in the ensuing decline. Even fellow financiers are taking aim. In a not-so-veiled reference to Goldman, one Wall Street titan said that big profits made by investment banks are “hidden gifts” from the state, and resentment of such firms is “justified.” Let the bloodletting begin. 

Let the Buyers (of Stock) Beware
Goldman’s heavy involvement in the hedge fund…
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The Bubble Blowers: Goldman Sachs

The Bubble Blowers: Goldman Sachs

As Cap and Trade races through Congress, here is a question – Who will benefit? The environment and us or Government Sachs?

Courtesy of Jake Towne.  "As always, unlike the NFL, the author grants full permission to allow any accounts of, rebroadcasts, retransmissions, repostings of this article to your blog or anywhere else in order to promote the Restoration of our Republic."

Last week the House voted 219-212 to pass HR 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, whose intent is to "create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy."  I’ve only had time to browse the 1,092 page bill and sincerely believe it will not achieve a single one of its purposes.

The creation of clean energy jobs is very vague and the parts that are clear center not on industry but on educating people about global warming – this appears to signal the creation of a new class of bureaucrat-teachers, not industrial jobs. 

Energy independence?  Transition to a clean energy economy?  Get real, there is nothing of substance in the document that details such a plan, and this is a pipe dream for government to create this.  What will you ask?  Only a free market, driven by the consumer and free from government interventions can do so, in my opinion.

"Reduce global warming pollution?"  Somehow I missed the scientific debate where the global warmers square off against the global coolers and those who believe that ‘the weather just changes, weather you want it to or not’ as I suggested here "Anthropogenic Global Warming or an Ice Age, Which Is It? (PART 2/2)".  Is carbon dioxide really a pollutant? Don’t plants need it to live and don’t we all respire it? It would be a lot cheaper and a lot more useful than HR 2454!

My own private analysis of HR 2454 can be summarized up with:

  • Inefficient energy sources will instead be propped up and buffered from free market competition by the government.
  • The taxed companies will pass down the taxes to We the People, and energy costs will rise for us, the consumers.
  • The State will subsidize and hence sponsor, mandated education that "global warming" is fact, stifling debate.
  • Wall Street will have a great time doing all the carbon credits trading using


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ValueWalk

Nebraska Furniture Mart in the 1980s

By The Acquirer's Multiple. Originally published at ValueWalk.

little gem of a 1980s NBC News story about Rose Blumkin, better known to folks in Omaha as “Mrs. B.”. Rose Blumkin apparently was a fixture in Omaha, and ran a HUGE furniture store in Nebraska. Please don’t confuse Mrs. Blumkin with that dirty word “BLUMPKIN”. That’s not nice.

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Zero Hedge

North And South Korea Agree To Form Joint Team, Will March Together At Olympic Opening Ceremony

 

North And South Korea Agree To Form Joint Team, Will March Together At Olympic Opening Ceremony

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

In a decision that Yonhap called an "unprecedented breakthrough", North and South Korea have agreed to form their first joint Olympic team and will march together under a unified flag during the opening ceremony. The two Koreas agreed to form a joint women's ice hockey team to take part in the Winter Olympics to be held February 9-25 in Pyeongchang, the two ...



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Phil's Favorites

Trump: "Defining Deviancy Down" With Lots of Takers

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Time Magazine Memorializes “Year One” of the Trump Presidency (left). Kirstjen Nielsen (right), Secretary of Homeland Security Appears Under Oath Before Senate Judiciary Committee on January 16, 2018 and Has Amnesia on Trump’s “Sh**hole” Characterization of African Countries.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 17, 2018

If you are raising children, caring for aging parents, working multiple jobs to pay the mortgage or simply spending your free time protesting the policies of the current administration, you may have missed the latest series of scandals swirling around the so-called leader of the free world.

Last w...



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Digital Currencies

What if the price of Bitcoin is the least interesting thing about it?

 

What if the price of Bitcoin is the least interesting thing about it?

Courtesy of 

Over the summer, I reviewed Steven Johnson’s book about innovation, called The Invention of Air. Johnson shows us how a simple insight by one of the least technically gifted scientists in history led to a massive chain reaction of human understanding about the world we live in and how it truly works.

If you missed my synopsis, it’s here.

...



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Insider Scoop

5 Biggest Price Target Changes For Wednesday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Goldman Sachs raised Groupon Inc (NASDAQ: GRPN) price target from $4.70 to $5.40. Groupon shares closed at $5.03 on Tuesday.
  • Barclays boosted the price target for Pure Storage Inc (NYSE: PSTG) from $19 to $22. Pure Storage shares closed at $16.16 on Tuesday.
  • Stifel increased the price target for Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) from $161 to $184. Deere shares closed at $167.54 on Tuesday.
  • Mizuho raised the price target on QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ: ...


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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 14, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

After 3 days of mild “rest” – and the first down day of the year (!!) for the S&P 500, bulls came back with bells on Thursday and Friday, driving indexes to record highs yet again.  This is starting to get “parabolic”… some shades of the type of things we saw in 1999.  (See the S&P 500 and NASDAQ charts below)  The S&P 500 gained 1.6% and the NASDAQ 1.7% for the week.

“This reminds me of January 2000,” said Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist, at Capitol Securities Management, which manages $4 billion in assets, referring to the nearly unceasing climb to records for stocks and the unease it can inspire.  “It’s scary, the unrelenting advance,” he added.

“The move isn’t about fundamentals...



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Biotech

How Alzheimer's disease spreads throughout the brain - new study

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

How Alzheimer's disease spreads throughout the brain – new study

Courtesy of Thomas E CopeUniversity of Cambridge

Harmful tau protein spreads through networks. Author provided

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating brain illness that affects an estimated 47m people worldwide. It is the most common cause of dementia in the Western world. Despite this, there are currently no treatments that are effective in curing Alzheimer’s disease or preventing its relentless progressio...



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Mapping The Market

Trump Admin Bans CDC From Using Words Like 'Science-Based,' 'Diversity'

By Jean-Luc

These are the policies of a theocracy, not a modern democracy:

Trump Admin Bans CDC From Using Words Like ‘Science-Based,’ ‘Diversity’

The Trump administration has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from using words like “science-based,” “diversity,” and “transgender” in their official documents for next year’s budget, according to the Washington Post.

Senior CDC budget leader Alison Kelly met with the agency’s policy analysts on Thursday to announce ...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

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. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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