April 26th, 2015
The leniency shown former CIA Director (and retired General) David Petraeus by the Justice Department in sparing him prison time for the serious crimes that he has committed puts him in the same preferential, immune-from-incarceration category as those running the financial institutions of Wall Street, where, incidentally, Petraeus now makes millions. By contrast, “lesser” folks – and particularly the brave men and women who disclose government crimes – get to serve time, even decades, in jail. Behold, the virtual immunity enjoyed by the well connected.
While the USA is busy killing US civilians and terrorists with its drone program, Russia is set to deploy its own Orlan-10 drones in the oil- and gas-rich Arctic region (reportedly to monitor the climate situation). As SputnikNews reports, Colonel Aleksandr Gordeev stated "the drones' task is to maintain impartial control of the situation in the Russian sector of the Arctic." So, passive-agressive? However, Russia also chose this week to release rarely-seen images of a US intelligence satellite which as one analyst notes is provocative (but obscure in its intent other than the growing recognition of US space-based surveillance assets).
"Largely missing from these discussions about the Fed's "exit strategy" is a consideration that perhaps it should retain, not discard, the balance sheet tools," the Boston Fed says, in a new paper advocating the retention of QE as a permanent part of the Fed's tool box. QEfinity may yet become a reality and for the most ironic of reasons: because the Fed is now in charge of promoting "financial stability" something which, as last October's Treasury flash crash proves, is exacerbated by asset purchases not ameliorated.
It’s official: all the markers of manias both past and present have now been surpassed.
The lines have been drawn in many police departments: it’s us vs. them. Trust in many departments has been utterly shattered within some communities because the police hold themselves to a different standard than they do the populace. But the recent cases of police brutality are simply a symptom of a much larger problem. Society in the US is breaking down, civility has been lost, and the country is rapidly becoming uncivilized. This extends within and across all of the most important institutions.
Who (or what) is pushing the market to fresh highs even as corporate buybacks are on hold and households and institutions are dumping?
Over the past year, special-operations forces have landed in 81 countries.
"I have no way of imagining what the United States will be like in your adulthood and yet I can sense that this country is changing in unsettling ways... Stretch anything far enough and it’ll begin to tear, fragment, break apart. That, I suspect, may be a reasonable summary of what’s been happening in our twenty-first-century world. Under stress, things are beginning to crack open... Though you don’t know it yet, you’re already living in an increasingly lopsided world whose stresses only seem to be multiplying. This has been true for the return of plutocracy...It certainly doesn’t look like the American world I’d want to turn over to you."
BANZAI7 FOOD AND BERVERAGE WARNING...
In the immediate aftermath of yesterday's destructive Nepal earthquake, which has led to hundreds of aftershocks and a constantly rising death toll, currently exceeding 2000, the most visually stunning, if quite deadly, phenomenon was a massive avalanche on Mt. Everest and leading to at least 17 casualties, including a Google executive, and 61 injured.
"Soft" capital controls arrived in Greece last week with the state decree requiring local governments to transfer reserves to Athens. Now, Kathimerini reports that debtors are seeing their accounts frozen in an indication that "hard" capital controls are set to be instituted amid a deepening cash crunch.
"Louisiana faces a $1.6 billion budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year, a result of both plunging oil-tax revenue and the state’s failure to enact adequate tax increases or spending cuts after the economic downturn in 2009. The latest plans would mean an 82 percent cut to the state’s public colleges and universities."