Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

Which is the Bigger Threat: Terrorism or Wall Street Bonuses?

Which is the Bigger Threat: Terrorism or Wall Street Bonuses?

By Wallace C. Turbeville, courtesy of New Deal 2.0

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The current system of trader compensation will continue to decay the heart of Wall Street.

Which is a greater threat to the nation — terrorism or the relentless decline of middle income families? Unless we abandon our core values out of unwarranted fear, terror cannot fundamentally change our way of life. The number of people affected by growing income disparity is vast. When I was a student, income disparity was indicative of an underdeveloped and unstable society.

The government appropriately devotes enormous resources to protect our lives and property from terrorism. It is unthinkable that a leader would display any weakness opposing this threat. Politicians have stiff backbones when it comes to terrorism.

In contrast, the government is timid and half-hearted in its approach to the system which perversely rewards a few Wall Street traders with billions of dollars of bonuses, yet allows the foundation to decay.

Kenneth Feinberg issued his report identifying outrageous Wall Street compensation of executives despite their role in the financial disaster and bail out. He proposed that the banks voluntarily adopt “brake provisions” that permit boards of directors to nullify bonuses in the event of a new financial crisis.

He might have more success asking the lions of the Serengeti to give the wildebeests a sporting chance of making an escape.

Over the last fifteen years, the financial sector’s percentage of GDP has increased dramatically. At the same time, the median family income stagnated and then declined.  I do not believe that this is a coincidence.

The large banks have changed. They slice and dice the constituent elements of a stagnant economy, squeezing value out in ever more sophisticated ways. Wall Street has turned away from its roll as the financial backer of industry and commerce. In the short term, it is more profitable for them to use their capital for trading. Newfangled software and MIT “quants” allow the traders to “rip the faces off” of corporate counterparties and investors which were once trusted clients.

These young traders are simply doing what America has told them to do.  They are allowed to earn obscene amounts of money using the advantageous information, technology and capital of their employers. Making money from less powerful counterparties is like shooting fish in a barrel.  The banks make so much money that…
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“National Security:” A Global Police State-Within-a-State

"National Security:" A Global Police State-Within-a-State 

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds 

The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) has spawned a national security "state-within-a-state" with essentially unlimited funding and support of America’s political machine. This National Security State has infected domestic policing and courts; it is both ubiquitous and completely unaccountable.

The Democrats and Republicans have enthusiastically joined hands to create a global police/national security state-within-a-state of unimaginable reach and power.  Frequent contributor Michael Goodfellow sent me this investigative report, which I consider one of the most important of the decade: Top Secret America: A hidden world, growing beyond control (Washington Post).

Let’s go back briefly to September 1, 2001, before the 9/11 attack. The national security "assets" of the nation had all the information needed to stop the attack. The various agencies did not stop the attack because there was essentially zero coordination and data-sharing between the CIA, NSA and FBI.

This was laid out in the PBS program The Spy Factory.

Now the national security "assets" have metastasized into a gargantuan national security state-within-a-state--and the exact same problem not only exists, it has become even more intracable.

Now that the national security state (NSS) has become much larger and even more unwieldy, coordination, collaboration and data-sharing have been rendered essentially impossible. This report makes that absolutely clear.

Rather than fix the problem of coordinating our national security assets, the Federal government and its leaders have amplified the problem. At the same time, they have created a monster which is beyond the control of elected officials or the citizenry, a secretive state-within-a-state which protects itself behind the inpenetrable shield of "national security" and "need to know."

The national security state is the ultimate protected fiefdom. Cutting one dollar of funding would be instantly characterized as "weakening our fight against global terrorism," as would any limits on the NSS’s powers.

This is in effect a new arm of the "military-industrial complex" which dwarfs the power of the traditional military-industrial complex: "defense" contractors and the revolving door between the DoD (Department of Defense) and these Pentagon-dependent industrial corporations.

GWOT is the perfect defense for a state-within-a-state that is insatiable and beyond accountability. Even simple inquiries are quickly dismissed as "dangerous"--as if global terrorists would glean some useful information from knowing just how many hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent tracking them.

What’s essential to our…
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Thank GDP It’s Friday!

Wow, a 6% GDP!

I’m guessing as it’s only 7:30 but WOW!  What an amazing economy this must be in the fantasy-land where they concoct these numbers.  Let’s see, we have 138M working people so we must have added 8.6M jobs, right?  NO???  Well, then the people who are working must be putting in a lot of overtime, right?  No?  I know, everybody must be making 6% more money than last year!  No?  Well, then it must be coming through in benefits, right?  No?  Hmm, this is a hard game isn’t it?  I KNOW!!!  Housing prices – with China-like GDP growth our housing market must be red hot and surely our homes are up 6% in value!  No?  Damn, I feel like I’m playing deal or no deal and I picked the case with the penny

Just like our discussion about what total BS the CPI was – GDP is no different.  GDP is the sum of Consumption, Investment, Government Spending and Net Exports which means a combination of inflation and government spending can boost our GDP even as real consumption falls and the rising dollar papers over export losses.  In other words – I buy $100Bn worth of Toyotas (5M at $20,000 each) from Japan with the dollar at 85 Yen.  Now the dollar rises to 93 Yen and I’m "only" buying $90Bn worth of Toyotas (5M at $18,000 each) and our GDP for that segment is up 10%.  Wow – FANTASTIC! 

Are we happy?  Are more Americans working?  Is there more shipping?  Are there more sales at the Toyota dealership?  No.  Is Japan happy?  Not at all, they are getting less money for the same cars.  Another group that hasn’t been happy are the oil exporters, who shipped us an average of 10.5 Million barrels a day at an average price of $60 last year ($630M) and are now shipping us just 8.5Mbd at $80 last week ($680M).  Sure they are still getting their $680M a day by choking off production and creating false supply shortages, but they miss the days when they were able to charge us $100 for 11Mbd. 

Don’t worry my OPEC pals, JPM and the other oil manipulators are working very hard to make sure you once again have Billions of more American dollars that you can funnel to terrorists and this Democratic Congress turns the same blind eye to the shenanigans as the previous administration did so happy days will soon be
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The FBI Just Shut Down Tax Protest Terrorist Joe Stack’s Website

The FBI Just Shut Down Tax Protest Terrorist Joe Stack’s Website

Courtesy of John Carney at Clusterstock 

crash plane austin

Source: AP

It’s a good thing we grabbed the insane manifesto of Joe Stack, the guy who flew his plane into a seven story building in Austin, Texas. 

Because the website is now down.

"This website has been taken offline due to the sensitive nature of the events that transpired in Texas this morning and in compliance with a request from the FBI," T35 Hosting explains.

While it seems reasonable for T35 to comply with the FBI request, we cannot help but wonder what the purpose of taking the site down might be. Is the FBI worried it might inspire copycat attacks?

See Also:

 

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Confirmed: US Officials Say Terrorists Who May Have US Passports Are Plotting Another Attack Against US

Confirmed: US Officials Say Terrorists Who May Have US Passports Are Plotting Another Attack Against US

Courtesy of John Carney at Clusterstock/The Business Insider

gulf aden yemen middleeast saudiCredible intelligence has emerged that the branch of Al Qaeda Yemen is plotting another attack against the United States and U.S. interests abroad.

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official confirmed the terror plot to a number of news outlets, including the Daily News and Fox News.

The intelligence doesn’t provides specifics about time, place or method of attack. But officials are taking the threat seriously. The Yemeni group is said to have been emboldened by the Christmas Day attack.

"Our concerns have intensified," the official told The News.

Frighteningly, Fox reports that some of the suspected terrorists may have US passports.

From Fox:

Al Qaeda in Yemen and the Al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, known as Al Shabaab — translated as Mujahadeen Youth — are described as having "shared interests and shared goals."

U.S. counterterrorism officials say clear connections now can be traced between the two terrorist groups and they are not ruling out the possibility that they are working together to attack U.S. interests.

U.S. officials also remain concerned about two dozen Somali Americans who disappeared into the Al Shabaab training camps in Somalia in the last 18 months. Their American passports would allow them to reenter the United States.

 


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Terrorism update

Changing the subject
Why O nixed Ft. Hood probe

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN, New York Post

U.S. President Barack Obama Visits Japan - Day 1

As he flew to Asia on Saturday, President Obama told the media in Alaska that he opposes a congressional investigation into the Fort Hood massacre, saying that we must "resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into political theater." Yet, even as he was posturing against political theatrics, he had just decided that the prosecution of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would proceed on the greatest of public stages — New York City.

With the strict evidentiary rules in force in federal civilian courts, it is easy to see how the prosecution of Mohammed could morph into an indictment of the Bush administration’s interrogation techniques and waterboarding. As in rape trials, the magnitude of the underlying crime (masterminding the 9/11 attacks) might well be lost as the defense puts the victim (in this case, the government) on trial…

Obama and his handlers know that the key to building favorable ratings is to control the agenda. And the more the national discussion centers on national security and terrorism, the more Republicans gain. So the Fort Hood terror attack comes at an awful time for an administration trying to turn the nation’s attention away from the terrorist threat…

Read full article here.
 

See Also Op-Toons Review’s :

Terrorist Reporters Provide Detailed Coverage of National Security Information Revealed in Open Court Criminal Prosecutions of 9/11 Terrorists

New York, New York--Haters of America around the world are hailing the terrorist press corps’ "comprehensive" coverage of the open criminal trials of the 9/11 terrorists being held in New York City.

Terrorist journalists are being praised for doing a particularly good job publicizing sensitive national security information revealed in court — information that will help tip off other terrorists and thwart their capture…

More here.

Law Enforcement Officials Replace "Good Cop, Bad Cop" Routine with "Good Cop, Super-Sensitive Hippie" Routine

optoon's reviewFacing pressures to be more "politically correct" in its anti-terrorism investigations, law enforcement officials nationwide are increasingly abandoning the "good cop, bad cop" method of interrogation in favor of a "good cop, super-sensitive hippie" routine.

"The new interrogation style is more attuned to empathizing with a terrorists’ deep-seated angst," said one interrogator.

Continue here.

 


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ValueWalk

Are S&P 500 and Precious Metals Bears Just Getting Started?

By Monica Kingsley. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Scary selling yesterday? See how little the downswing has achieved technically, check out the other characteristics, and you‘ll probably reach the same conclusion I did. It‘s still about the tech getting its act together while much of the rest of the market is doing quite fine.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Treasuries Are Under Pressure

The credit market confirm, as is obvious from the HYG:SHY ratio chart I‘m showing you. True, long-term Treasuries are under pressure, but I wrote on Monday that ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will Bond Yields Fastest Rise In 50 Years Rattle Markets?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

The waterfall decline of bond yields (and interest rates) has been met with an equally steep rally.

In fact, the 10-Year US Treasury bond yield is up 131% in 45 weeks, making it the biggest rally in 50 years! See the chart below.

Earlier today we asked if the 40-Year Bond Bull Market Is Over? And we highlighted how bonds and yields are facing an important test right now.

Will the record rise in bond yields continue? And will bond pric...



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Zero Hedge

Thousands Of Quakes Rock Iceland As Volcanic Eruption Could Be Brewing 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Over the past week, there have been swarms of earthquakes on the Reyjanes Peninsula in Iceland. Most of the quakes are felt around Keilir volcano, just 20 miles south of the capital. Officials are warning similar quake activity has previously preceded volcanic eruptions.

According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, thousands of quakes have hit the southwestern region of Reykjanes over the past week. The largest earthquake, a magnitude 5.6 on the Richter s...



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Politics

Why repressive Saudi Arabia remains a US ally

 

Why repressive Saudi Arabia remains a US ally

A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with blood on his hands protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8, 2018. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Jeffrey Fields, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman “approved an operation … to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” according to a...



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Phil's Favorites

Ensuring the minimum wage keeps up with economic growth would be the best way to help workers and preserve FDR's legacy

 

Ensuring the minimum wage keeps up with economic growth would be the best way to help workers and preserve FDR's legacy

It may seem like a lot, but it’s not the most important change in the bill. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Courtesy of Felix Koenig, Carnegie Mellon University

The US$1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill that the House ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

COVID-19 revealed how sick the US health care delivery system really is

 

COVID-19 revealed how sick the US health care delivery system really is

Many U.S. hospitals and clinics are behind when it comes to sharing information. Teera Konakan/Moment via Getty Images

Courtesy of Elizabeth A. Regan, University of South Carolina

If you got the COVID-19 shot, you likely received a little paper card that shows you’ve been vaccinated. Make sure you keep that card in a safe place. There is no coordinated way to share information about who has been vaccinated and who has not.

...

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Mapping The Market

Which Governments Ordered Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine?

 

Which Governments Ordered Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine?

Courtesy of Niall McCarthy, Statista

On Wednesday, U.S. regulators announced that Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine being developed by its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Belgium is effective at preventing moderate to severe cases of the disease. The jab has been deemed safe with 66 percent efficacy and the FDA is likely to approve it for use in the U.S. within days.

The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine can be stored for up to three months in a refrigerator and requires a single shot, ...



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Digital Currencies

Crypto - It Is Different This Time

 

Crypto – It Is Different This Time

Courtesy of Howard Lindzon

?I have been astonished as you know by the growth of crypto.

I remember back in 2017 when I noticed that Stocktwits message volume on Bitcoin ($BTC.X) surpassed that of $SPY. I knew Bitcoin was here to stay and Bitcoin went on to $19,000 before heading into its bear market.

Today Bitcoin is near $50,000.

Back in November of 2020, something new started to happen on Stocktwits with respect to crypto.

After the close on Friday until the open of the futures on Sunday, all Stocktwits trending tickers turned crypto. The weekend messages on Stocktwits have increased 400 percent.

That has continued each weekend...



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Chart School

The Fastest Money

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The fast money happens near the end of the long trend.

Securities which attract a popular following by both the public and professionals investors tend to repeat the same sentiment over their bull phase. The chart below is the map of said sentiment.
 


 

Video on the subject.


 

Charts in the video



 



 



Changes in the world is the source of all market moves, to ...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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