Archive | Banksters

Venezuela nearing sovereign bankruptcy. Destabilization coming

Venezuela-CDS-spread

Financial vultures and destabilzation teams are watching Venezuela’s mostly self-inflicted death spiral. The plunging price of oil has hugely worsened that country’s already precarious situation. Simply put, it has obligations it cannot meet, is selling anything it can, and making up shit to pretend things are ok.

The country – desperate to give the impression that it is not terminally insolvent and still has some foreign reserves left – ordered its Central Bank to dramatically change the rules, in a step “that enables them to count a whole new set of ‘assets’ as potential international reserves including “stones” and “precious metals held in their vaults on behalf of foreign financial institutions.”

No, you can’t pretend something you don’t own is an asset. No one will believe you anyway. The chart shows the soaring BPS spread between bid and ask on Venezuela credit default swaps. By contrast, the US spread is 19. In a CDS, the seller guarantees to pay debt of the buyer if they default and receives a payment for doing so. A spread of 3100 is insanely high and indicates vanishing trust that the country can meet its obligations.

From the comments:

Ukraine has no more gold, so strategically, Venezuela still has something to be looted, I think a destabilization will begin occuring to the south of us.

TPTB will then loot the repatriated gold and move it back into more friendly vaults with their greedy little mitts.

Well, the CDS oddsmakers have Venezuela #1, Ukraine #2, and the Grand Duchy of Evil (Muskovy) #3. Sounds about right to me. Ukrainians are in the middle of a war and thus have a rally round the flag moment going to stretch out their agony. Venezuela is spending its last remaining cookie jar money on swimming lessons for rodents.

Anyone who can is getting their money out of Venezuela into a different currency.

Posted in Banksters0 Comments

Bitcoin supposed anonymity easily broken, researchers discover

bitcoin-security

A supposedly secure  system for sending untraceable money across the planet turns out to be not secure at all. Why it’s enough to make one put on their tinfoil hat of conspiracy and wonder WTF? Who benefits from this? Not Bitcoin users, that’s for sure.

Bitcoin has an undeserved reputation for security. It has repeatedly hacked and compromised. Now this. IP addresses for Bitcoin transactions can readily be obtained, with minimal amounts of time and effort, university researchers say. I’m guessing others figured out this gaping hole in Bitcoin “security” too and have already taken advantage of it.

Researchers at the Laboratory of Algorithmics, Cryptology and Security of the University of Luxembourg have shown that Bitcoin does not protect user’s IP address and that it can be linked to the user’s transactions in real-time. To find this out, a hacker would need only a few computers and about €1500 per month for server and traffic costs. Moreover, the popular anonymization network “Tor” can do little to guarantee Bitcoin user’s anonymity, since it can be blocked easily.

The basic idea behind these findings is that Bitcoin entry nodes, to which the user’s computer connects in order to make a transaction, form a unique identifier for the duration of user’s session. This unique pattern can be linked to a user’s IP address. Moreover, transactions made during one session, even those made via unrelated pseudonyms, can be linked together. With this method, hackers can reveal up to 60 percent of the IP addresses behind the transactions made over the Bitcoin network.

Software patches written by the researchers are currently under discussion with the Bitcoin core developers.

Would these be the same Bitcoin core developers that have consistently released buggy code that is easily compromised?

Cryptocurrencies may well have a long life ahead of them – after the amateur hour that is Bitcoin has been replaced with a system that is genuinely robust and anonymous.

Posted in Banksters0 Comments

NYT: We don’t need no stinking rule of law against banksters

dronebanks

The New York Times shows its true loyalties by defending the Obama Administration’s refusal to criminally prosecute corrupt bankers. Thousands of banksters went to prison during the S&L crisis of the 1980’s. Hardly any have during the Obama Administration. That’s because DoJ pointblank said it wouldn’t prosecute because it might upset the banking system. God forbid wealthy financiers be held accountable for their many crimes, which include money-laundering, rigging financial markets. and ignoring inconvenient laws. A major upset is precisely what the international banking system needs.

The even worse news from Dudley and the Obama administration, which the NYT has scrupulously avoided informing its readers, is about Dudley’s admission at the Senate hearing that the Obama administration deliberately blocked the prosecution of elite bank frauds.

Fortunately, the Huffington Post made Dudley’s confession its lead.

“‘We were not willing to find those firms guilty before, because we were worried that if we found them guilty, that could somehow potentially destabilize the financial system,’ Dudley said. ‘We’ve gotten past that and I think it’s really important that we got past that.’”

Even Professor Cochrane, the U. Chicago economist that detests regulation, now admits that runs cause financial crises and that runs are typically driven by fraud. “Not for nothing have most runs been sparked by an accounting scandal or fraud.” There is nothing more destabilizing to a financial system than fraud by elite bankers that is immunized by their political allies.

Our banking system is corrupt at its core. The government is a captured, complaingt entity. But you already knew that.

Posted in Banksters0 Comments

24% of millenials with student loans expect debt forgiveness

StudentLoans

Nearly one quarter of millenials with student loans are living in a dream world where they expect banksters and the government someday will swoop in and, poof, their crushing load debt will be disappeared. Good luck with that kids. In the meantime, they can forget about buying that first starter house. Wouldn’t a better idea be to learn a skilled trade? After all, skilled trade jobs like being a plumber can never be outsourced to India. The work is generally steady and the pay can be quite good. This certainly beats amassing debt that will take years to pay off.

Average student debt for class of 2012 was nearly $27,000. For he class of 2014 it is estimated to be $33,000. That’s a sharp rise. Universities push the loans as they continually raise tuition. Banksters slice and dice the loans into arcane securities, with everything guaranteed by the government. Everyone makes money except for students, who often can’t find the jobs they were hoping for, so they move back home with their parents, delay getting married and buying a house.

Of course, with a slow job market, many millenials are going back to college, incurring debt, then using the money to pay living expenses, a desperation strategy that will not end well.

It appears the concept of no consequences is now deeply embedded in the American society. As Student loan debtloads surge ever higher – and opportunities grow ever lower – NBC News reports a rather stunning 24% of Millennials said they expect their loans will ultimately be forgiven, according to study released Wednesday by Junior Achievement and PwC US. That helps to explain why delinquency rates are at record highs – aside from the massive debtloads and no high-paying jobs – as students see bankers rigging every market in the world with little to no consequence, one can only imagine the lessons being learned.

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Joe Bageant explains why Democrats lose elections they should win

Deer Hunting with Jesus

Working class whites, especially in the South, used to vote solidly Democratic. They probably still would except the Democratic Party for years now has basically pissed in their faces, insulted their culture – then was shocked, just shocked when that once-reliable voting bloc turned Republican. Who could have ever imagined if you insult rural whites, allege their family trees don’t fork, that they might ditch you and find new friends. Clearly, this thought never even dented the skulls of urban liberals.

Joe Bageant grew up redneck in Winchester Virginia, escaped to the city, became a “godless commie,” coke dealer, friend of Hunter Thompson, and leftie journalist. He moved back thirty years later, and wrote this book about it.

The book is subtitled “Dispatches from America’s Class War.” Bageant looks at the people he grew up with. Most are in debt way beyond their means, have serious health problems, and have been grinding away for 30-40 years at no-future jobs that pay next to nothing. The redneck class helped put George Bush in the White House.  How, Bageant asks, did this happen? Why did they stop voting Democratic?

Because the Democratic Party stopped caring about them, that’s why. That left a void the Republican Party promptly filled. Yes Virginia, there was a time the Democratic Party stood for the working class, for minorities and the poor, for unions, but those days are long gone. Bageant thought the Democrats cluelessly and stupidly stopped trying to appeal to poor whites. Me, I think it was quite deliberate. But the result was the same, as Tuesday’s midterm election showed.

In 2010, Bageant said we’re all in this fight together and it is indeed a class war. It’s the elites vs. the rest of us, and not Red vs. Blue.

If you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked? Much of the world, including plenty of Americans, asks that question as they watch U.S. culture go down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.

Neither populist, nor authentic movement, the Tea Party may yet prove historic, however, by seriously fucking things up more than they already are. Spun entirely from manufactured spectacle (and thus void of cohesive political philosophy or internal logic), the Tea Party lurches across the political landscape bellowing at the cameras and collecting the victims of cultural ignorance in sort of a medieval idiots crusade. But to the American public, seeing the Tea Party on television is proof enough of relevancy and significance. After all, stuff doesn’t get on TV unless it’s important.

Progressives also fancy a revolution, one in which they participate through the Internet petitions, and media events such as the risk free Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity, where no one risked even missing an episode of Tremaine. Seeing people like themselves on television was proof fighting the good fight. The Stewart rally was nonetheless culturally historic; we will never see a larger public display of post modern irony congratulating itself.

What America really needs is a wall-to-wall people’s insurrection, preferably based on force and fear of force, the only thing oligarchs understand. And even then the odds are not good. The oligarchs have all the legal power, police, jails and prisons, surveillance and firepower. Not to mention a docile populace.

However, the US has no recent experience with revolution (even though the country was founded in violent revolution) and views revolutions as Marxist even though they often aren’t. A good start would be to decondition ourselves .

if we are talking change through revolt, we’re necessarily talking about deconditioning because the thing we fear already has a life deep in our own consciousness. Deconditioning from cultural ignorance is at the heart of any insurrectionary politics.

Posted in Banksters

Call the Wambulance. UK regulators say money laundering rules too onerous

wambulance

How can banksters be expected to effectively launder drug money when pesky regulators keep imposing horrid Draconian rules? Big banks are very very sad because this could cut off known third-world money laundering entities from the supposedly legitimate global system. Inquiring minds want to know why this would be a bad thing.

The over-zealous application of anti-money laundering rules hampering British banks abroad and cutting off poorer countries from global financial markets, a top Bank of England regulator said on Tuesday.

BoE deputy governor Andrew Bailey, who heads the arm of the central bank in charge of most day-to-day financial regulation, said British banks risked being put out of business if they tripped up on foreign money laundering rules.

Banks that launder money should be put out of business. Seems simple enough to me.

Posted in Banksters

Serfdom is coming to the USA. Young people should work for free!

young-workers

Government officials in Greece and Canada have a cure to youth unemployment. Youth should work for free until they’re 24! Then perhaps the company they are in servitude to might deign to hire them. Oh wait. By the time they are 24 and presumably ready to be paid, there will be lots more youth coming up through the ranks who can be coerced to work for free. So, it’ll be out the door with the oldsters, and time to bring in more fresh meat. And thus the cycle will continue. Increased profits from such cost-cutting will be awesome indeed.

It’s only a matter of time until this barely disguised slavery reaches the US. In some ways, it already has. Unpaid internships are the leading edge of the New Servitude and are showing employers exciting new ways to be ultra-exploitative. Silicon Valley will no doubt adopt this strategy as being just another example that innovative disruption they are so proud of. And indeed, forcing someone to work for years unpaid will indeed be disruptive (to that person.)

Nine short months ago, the clever people running the show in Europe suggested a number of measures including “unpaid work for the young and unemployed up to 24 years old, so that companies would have a strong motive to hire young employees”. ‘Unpaid’ work sounded a lot like slavery to us then but it seems the arrogance is contagious as Canada – that bastion of freedom – suggests that the employment situation is so bad that young people should consider working for free. As The Globe & Mail reports, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said ‘Adult children stuck in their parents’ basements because they can’t find adequate employment should take unpaid work to bolster résumés as they wait for the recovery to take hold’.

From the comments at Zero Hedge:

I can’t see 25-yr-olds being too happy about this.


– no pay jobs for all < 24 – pink slips for all > 24
– no job training because they get fired on their 25th birthday
– free labor for all corporations
– corporate profits grow
– stock market goes higher

What’s there not to like?


It’s actually much much worse than slavery – at least slaves are fed, sheltered and clothed.

Posted in Banksters

Gentrification is pushing everyone but the wealthy out of cities

No word yet whether the poor will need to avert their eyes so they don't look at the wealthy.

No word yet whether the poor will need to avert their eyes so as not to look at the wealthy.

Silicon Valley money is the dark star, pulling San Francisco into its orbit, forcing everyone else out of a city that once prided itself on diversity and quirkiness. Will the invading parasites kill the host? Massively upscale gentrification is also happening in New York City too and, in a different way, also in Detroit.

It feels like Silicon Valley is turning San Francisco into its bedroom community. There’s so much money and so much power and so little ability to resist that it is pushing out huge numbers of people directly, but it is also re-creating San Francisco as a place that is so damn expensive that nobody but people who make huge amounts of money will be able to live here

You can’t really have a democratic conversation when you have the very opposite of democracy economically—so it’s not the conversation that matters; it’s the economy. Silicon Valley is this dark star that’s come along with an enormous gravitational pull that’s kind of pulling everything out of its orbit. And there’s no accountability. I’ve seen other people use the phrase, too, but I’ve been calling it the “military tech industrial complex,” because it feels like it’s a quasi-governmental body now. And there are a lot of overlaps with government and military; Silicon Valley arose from military contracting and was never the bohemian entity it likes to portray itself as, Think Different Land.

The same process is happening in New York City. Mayor de Blasio can’t stop relentless gentrification even if he wanted to, which he doesn’t, not really. Oh, he’ll make a few gestures, toss some bones to public unions, create some new programs, but little of substance will change. The trickle down effect former Mayor Bloomberg predicted when billionaires moved to NYC ended up being that the poor got pissed once again. How surprising.. When the vision for New York is a playground for the wealthy, then everyone else is irrelevant. De Blasio’s plan is to tax the rich to finance everything else. This is using Band-aids to fix structural problems.  Plus, the rich may simply decide to leave or, more likely, use their juice to change tax laws so they are taxed less.

Manhattan is now the most unequal county in America (it was 17th in 1980), with a Gini coefficient — which measures the disparity between the richest and poorest residents — higher than that of Apartheid-era South Africa.

And as the city becomes more economically unequal, it’s also become more racially segregated. Demographer Daniel Herz’ census analysis shows New York is now America’s second most racially divided city.

The poor-door phenomena, with a few lucky members of the lower class winning subsidized units in buildings for the rich, but with separate entrances and no access to luxury amenities, recreates not social democracy but the Victorian upstairs-downstairs society.

The critical point is this: New York is losing its role as a place of opportunity, and the de Blasio toolbox is unlikely to put back the ladder that’s been pulled up.

In an earlier era, New Detroiters might have been called carpetbaggers. History is irrelevant to them. Evicting Old Detroiters so gentrification can occur is just the price of progress, so stop your sobbing.

You are leaving downtown again, when you spot an eviction notice pinned to the front door of an aging building off of Woodward. Getting out of your car, you take a closer look: the residents are being moved due to renovations. You talk about this on Facebook, surmising the prices there will raise. Will the residents be welcome back again once remodeling is finished?

New Detroit is one of the first to answer your status update. They tell you it’s for the best. They tell you the owner of the building has a right to do what they want. They tell you it isn’t classism. They tell you it’s progress.

Progress for who?

Posted in Banksters

U.S. on a highway to Hell. Start a war and lose an empire

Cole_Thomas_The_Course_of_Empire_Destruction_1836

The U.S. blunders on, resolutely refusing to accept reality, leaving other countries in shambles as its own  power erodes. Syria and Iraq are consumed with war. Libya is nearing full-scale civil war. American intervention in Ukraine has been counter-productive at best. It’s almost comical, says Russian expat Dmitry Orlov in a sobering yet humorous essay.  He thinks the U.S. could shatter and fall like the U.S.S.R. did.

The American behavior throughout this succession of defeats has been remarkably consistent, with the constant element being their flat refusal to deal with reality in any way, shape or form. Just as before, in Syria the Americans are ever looking for moderate, pro-Western Islamists, who want to do what the Americans want (topple the government of Bashar al Assad) but will stop short of going on to destroy all the infidel invaders they can get their hands on. The fact that such moderate, pro-Western Islamists do not seem to exist does not affect American strategy in the region in any way.

Obama’s bleatings have somewhat alarmed Russians though, and that country is turning away from the U.S. and the dollar. This could have disastrous effects here at home if the government can not continually roll over its massive short-term debt by selling more T-bills. Much of this debt is, of course, due to idiot wars the U.S. keeps starting and insisting on being involved in.

You’d think that Obama has already overplayed his hand, and should behave accordingly. His popularity at home is roughly the inverse of Putin’s, which is to say, Obama is still more popular than Ebola, but not by much. He can’t get anything at all done, no matter how pointless or futile, and his efforts to date, at home and abroad, have been pretty much a disaster. So what does this social worker turned national mascot decide to do? Well, the way the Russians see it, he has decided to declare war on Russia! In case you missed it, look up his speech before the UN General Assembly. It’s up on the White House web site. He placed Russia directly between Ebola and ISIS among the three topmost threats facing the world. Through Russian eyes his speech reads as a declaration of war.

Posted in Anti-war, Banksters

You’re either butcher or cattle. Except when hunter becomes prey

terminus

Darkly dystopian TV like Walking Dead and Breaking Bad mirror the current darkening national mood, says the Burning Platform. The cannibalistic Terminus in Walking Dead lures in the unsuspecting by pretending to be a refuge. Any resemblance between this and war pigs increasing their wealth by sending ever-more to die while banksters loot the country and a corrupt government pretends to enforce Rule of Law is, of course, precisely the point. TV is a metaphor and reflection of what people are thinking and feeling.

Such dark moods are probably healthy. More and more, people on all sides of the political spectrum understand what the government is really about, how it has become degraded, a tool for the wealthy, and does not serve the public interest. Something will happen, the tide will change. It always does.

Fourth Turnings result in the tables being turned on the butchers. Some cattle are awakening from their stupor. They can see the bloody writing on the slaughterhouse wall. Anyone who isn’t sensing a dramatic mood change in this country is either a mindless zombie or a functionary of the deep state. The financial shenanigans of the ruling class are again being revealed as nothing but a Ponzi scheme built on a foundation of debt and propped up by delusions and ignorance. When the house of cards collapses in the near future, the tables will turn. When people have nothing left to lose, they will lose it. The butchers will become the cattle. There will be no sanctuary for these evil men. Their reign of terror will be swept away in a whirlwind of retribution, death and destruction. It might even make the Walking Dead look like a walk in the park.

Posted in Banksters

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