Depending on the time of day, Bitcoin is up 100% (or 200% or 300%) or down 50% as the crypto-currency swings violently around in what appears a death spasm only to transform into a Tesla-like phoenician rise. But there is another crypto-related bubble that is exploding - and showing no signs of stopping. As Russia Today notes, the so-called "Snowden Effect" has seen Freedom of Information Act requests filed with the National Security Agency increase 888% this fiscal year.
Hypocrisy as a Weapon
So about that whole drone debate in the USA... It seems the feds decided to simply skip over such a quaint notion and deploy them without telling anyone. Back in December of last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) detailed current drone flights in the U.S. That story was big news at the time, and it was particularly disturbing in light of the fact that Congress has cleared the way for the Federal Aviation Administration to allow 30,000 drones in the nation’s skies by 2020. Well it appears that the whole drone debate was over before it even began, with the FBI having used drones domestically for at least seven years.
Starting two weeks ago, requests faxed to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) started coming back as undeliverable. After several subsequent attempts and troubleshooting on our end, MuckRock reached out to the OSD. Sure enough, their fax machine is down... possibly until November. Now, in 2013, you wouldn't think this would be an issue. But when an agency accepts FOIA requests by a) fax, b) mail or c) a clunky online request portal that doesn't play nice with other systems, suddenly that fax machine becomes a technical linchpin. It bears repeating: The office that oversees the most powerful military in history (not to mention the best-funded) is unable to project when its single fax machine will once again be operational.
On the surface, there is nothing spectacular about the weekend news that JPMorgan is seeking to sell its 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza office building. After all, the former headquarters of Chase Manhattan Bank, located deep in the heart of the financial district and which was built by its then chairman David Rockefeller, is a remnant to another time - a time when banking was about providing loans, not about managing and trading assets which has become the realm of Midtown New York, and since JPM already has extensive Midtown exposure with its offices at 270, 270 and 245 Park, the 1 CMP building always stood out as a bit of a sore thumb. Of course, as Zero Hedge readers first learned, the big surprise is literally below the surface, some 90 feet below street level to be exact, where the formerly secret JPM gold vault is located, which also happens to be the biggest commercial gold vault in the world.
You're not going to believe this: gold is manipulated. Also, Paul Craig Roberts debunks GDP and lifts the veil off our disinformational gov't
When it comes to the conversion of the US into a totalitarian state, few things are quite as symbolic as the construction of the NSA's Bluffdale, Utah Data Canter, which was revealed last year by Wired, yet which did not get much prominence until June's revelations by Edward Snowden. Costing billions in taxpayer money, the facility is simply the largest hard disk ever built, designed to store every current and future electronic communication, both foreign and domestic, to be made available at a moment's notice following the "permission" of the secret FISA court. Which is why one would think that if there is one thing the NSA would excel in (and once can certainly not blame the NSA for being budget-friendly - recall that the The Pentagon has requested $4.7 billion for “cyberspace operations,” even as the budget of the CIA and other intelligence agencies could fall by $4.4 billion) is being able to identify and isolate any particular signal among a veritable mountain of noise. One would be very wrong.
Most Americans Still Don’t Know that Federal Reserve Banks Are PRIVATE Corporations
It was roughly four years ago when details surrounding such Goldman SPV deals as Titlos first emerged, that it became clear how for over a decade, using deliberately masking transactions such as currency swaps, Greece had managed to fool the Eurozone into believing its economy was doing far better, and its debt load was far lower than it actually was in order to comply with the Masstricht treaty's entrance requirements. As for the Pandora's Box that was opened following the disclosure of just how ugly the unvarnished truth in Europe is, following the Greek disclosure, leading to the general realization that the European experiment has failed and it is now only a matter of time before its final unwind, any comment here is unnecessary - ths has been widely discussed here and elsewhere over the past several years. Now it is Italy's turn. Overnight, the FT reported that "Italy risks potential losses of billions of euros on derivatives contracts it restructured at the height of the eurozone crisis."
"Markets Under The Spell Of Monetary Easing" Bank Of International Settlements Finds... Same As "Then"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/02/2013 20:17 -0500
And so the final curtain falls on the myth of what was supposed to be, in its own words, the "most transparent administration" in history. As it turns out, the big Friday story of Bloomberg journalists snooping on clients was just amateur hour compared to what the AP was about to serve. In fact, the Watergate affair may soon appear like a walk in the park compared to the First Amendment shitstorm that is about to be unleashed following the just reported news that the US Department of Justice had "secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news." First amendment? Freedom of speech and press? Surely not when it comes to the Nobel-peace prize winning President and those who dare to expose his secret ways. And what's worst, is that the AP breach has all the makings of a spiteful hack driven by personal vengeance against one of America's premier news outlets.
A panel of bankers warned the Fed in February that their extreme monetary policy is forcing institutions to "accept greater credit-risk" than "makes sense" and student debt and farmland prices are in a bubble. We first started to explain the bubble in student debt over two years ago and since then the bubble has become larger (and the underlying structure much more fragile as delinquencies soar). Farmland rose in price over 16% last year (according to the Chicago Fed) and has surged 8% per annum over the past decade. Credit risk is now at levels associated with the CDO-driven liquidity excess of 2006. "Further accommodation is not warranted," the minutes of this meeting show - uncovered by Bloomberg via the FOIA. The comments should cause Bernanke and his merry men to pause for breath but of course it is likely what he wanted all along. "Growth in student debt... has parallels to the housing crisis," and "agricultural land prices are veering further from what makes sense," are just two of the bankers' comments, adding that this "will ultimately result in higher loan losses," which is odd since every bank is adjusting down its loan-loss-reserves and juicing earnings.
But "We Can’t Afford to Irritate the Saudis" By Actually Looking Into Who Backed 9/11 ... "Especially with Oil Prices Going Up Now"
When two weeks ago we exposed the heretofore secret location of JPM's London gold vault (located under the firm's massive L-shaped office complex at 60 Victoria Embankment) we thought: what about New York? After all, while London is the legacy financial capital of the "old world", it is in New York that the biggest private wealth of the past century is concentrated, and it is also in New York where the bulk of the hard assets backing the public money of the world's sovereigns are located, some 80 feet below ground level in the fifth sub-basement of the New York Fed, resting on the bedrock of Manhattan. That the topic of the gold "held'' by the New York Fed - historically considered the gold vault with the largest concentration of gold bars in the world - has become rather sensitive, in the aftermath of the Bundesbank's request to repatriate it (surely, but very, very slowly), is an understatement. Yet in the aftermath of some of the revelations presented here, we believe quite a few other countries will follow in Germany's footsteps for one very simple reason: suddenly the question of whether their gold is located at 33 Liberty, or just adjacent to it, in what we have learned is the de facto largest private gold vault in the world, located across the street 90 feet below 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, doesn't appear to have a clear answer.
Governments Move to Destroy Online Anonymity ... Google Helps