Corruption

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Frontrunning: August 11





  • Maliki digs in as U.S. pushes for new Iraq government (Reuters)
  • Ukraine's forces say close to taking rebel-held Donetsk (Reuters)
  • Anger Over Michael Brown Shooting Leads to Looting (WSJ)
  • German Economy Backbone Bending From Lost Russia Sales (BBG)
  • Kinder Morgan to Consolidate Empire (WSJ)
  • Early Failure to Detect Gaza Tunnel Network Triggers Recriminations in Israel (WSJ)
  • You’ll never guess how much BuzzFeed raised from Horowitz (FT)
  • The dumb money is now chasing Chinese oligarchs: Norway’s Wealth Fund Buys $576 Million of Mayfair Area (BBG)
  • Clinical trial to start soon on GSK Ebola vaccine (Reuters)
  • No drone skeet shooting any time soon (WSJ)
 
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Organized Community Defense Is America’s Last Hope





When people ask for solutions to the collapse of America, often they are looking for a predetermined top-down magic bullet response. There is no such thing, nor will there ever be. There is no scenario in which we will escape unscathed. There is no cartoon-land happy ending at the finale of this story. The “solution,” as it were, is ultimately something that many do not want to hear about; namely, hard work, sacrifice and a willingness to put everything on the line for the future. Our only advantage is that we still have some time, and any time is better than no time.

 
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Martin Armstrong Warns Italy's Recession Means "The End Of Democracy"





For the second time this year, Italy experienced a slump of its gross domestic product by 0.3% year on year. The economic data is so bad that Italy's economy is the smallest in 14 years. The advantage of Italy and its legendary corruption has been its equally inefficient government that has allowed the people to just ignore it and get along with life in the real world of the underground economy. The solution for Italy? The politician’s dream. Brussels want to take away the right of the Italian people to vote on anything meaningful. Italy is where the Republic was born. The land that had inspired the American Revolution against monarchy is now itself surrendering the last vestige of democratic process yield to the growing tyranny of Brussels under the pretense of saving the Euro.

 
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WTF Headline Of The Day: US Forfeits $480 Million Loss On Nigerian Dictator Scam





While we assumed everyone knew that correspondence from Nigerian leaders requesting funds were always fradulent, it appears the US government decided the opportunity was worth the risk...

*U.S. FORFEITS OVER $480 MILLION STOLEN BY FORMER NIGERIAN DICTATOR

The DoJ describes it as "the largest forfeiture ever." Oh well - we hear Rwanda is looking to issue some bonds..."We might go for double that or more, up to $1 billion."

 
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Futures Tumble On Abysmal European Data, Euro Stocks Turn Red For 2014; German 2Y Bunds Negative





With everyone focused on China as the source of next systemic risk, most forgot or simply chose to ignore Europe, which through Draghi's verbal  magic was said to be "fixed." Or at least everyone hoped that the rigged European bond market would preserve the "recovery" illusion a little longer giving the world some more time to reform pretend it is doing something to fix it. Turns out that was a mistake, confirmed earlier not only by the plunge in German Factory Orders which cratered -4.3%, down from 7.7% and below the 1.1% revised, and UK Industrial production which missed expectations of a 0.6% boost, rising only 0.3%, but most importantly Italy's Q2 GDP shocker, which as we reported earlier, dropped for the second consecutive quarter sending the country officially into recession. As a result, European stock markets, Stoxx600, has joined the DJIA in the red for the year while Germany's 2 Year Bund just went negative on aggressive risk aversion, the first time since 2012.

 
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Mapping China's Zhou Yongkang's Web Of Power, Money, & Connections





Having folded like a lawn chair over economic reforms, and instead done the exact opposite with a QE-lite, Xi Jinping is pressing ahead with his anti-graft, power-centric corruption probes. We recently introduced Zhou Yongkang, China's ex-defense chief, whose net worth is estimated at a stunning $14 billion... but as The South China Morning Post exposes, his sprawling empire runs deep...

 
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Quote Of The Day: John Kerry Hypocrisy Edition





John Kerry is at it again... Speaking at the US-Africa Summit, the US Secretary of State explained:

*KERRY STRESSES NEED FOR COUNTRIES TO OBSERVE HUMAN RIGHTS

Which is odd, given that: a) Obama admitted we tortured some "folk"; and b) when countries refuse to observe human rights - the US drones them?

 
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The "Do-Over" - Groupthink, Mass Delusion, And "Hell To Pay"





"By all measures, the U.S. stock market is currently frothy," warns Paul Singer, founder of $24.8 billion hedge fund firm Elliott Management, ominously concluding, "The apparent stability of the world financial system is superficial – financial asset prices are not real, the equilibrium is temporary, the lack of volatility is a trap, and when the whole thing goes haywire, there will truly be hell to pay."

 
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A Sure-Fire Cure For Inequality? Crash & Depression





"The most important thing we can convey about inequality as a current political theme is that it is sharply exacerbated by the current mix of governmental policies in the developed world, particularly in America. If policies were oriented toward unlocking America’s considerable growth potential (policies described elsewhere in this report), then the rise of asset markets would be balanced alongside considerable improvement in the economic conditions of the vast middle class. But that is not the case in America, where growth-suppressive policies exist alongside extreme monetary ease. This terrible combination is at the root of today’s perception of growing inequality, but the policymakers who are causing this set of circumstances are the ones railing (for political gain) against inequality... [the resultant] societal unrest that may make the current politically-useful “inequality” riffs, blaming the “1%” and attacking those “millionaires and billionaires” who refuse to “pay their fair share,” look like mere warm-ups for real class warfare."

 
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Pole-Dancing And/Or Happy Women Should Avoid Turkey, Deputy PM





If you're a woman looking for some fun... we strongly urge you to avoid Turkey. Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has some strong opinions on the female of the species. First, on Monday, he exclaimed women needed to be "morally upright" and "not laugh out loud in public." And now, the senior Turkish minister, that some women "don’t have self control and can’t stop themselves from climbing up a pole." Of course his actions sparked an avalanche of social media posts of women laughing-out-loud and on-the-pole... which is ironic given that Twitter reports that Turkey accounts for 43% of all global requests for content removal.

 
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