Out of curiosity, we searched for the term “gold” in English language books starting in 1776. As one would expect back in the 18th and 19th centuries when gold was actually considered money, the instances of the word ‘gold’ favored prevalently in English language books at the time. The trend continued into the early part of the 20th century. But then something interesting happened in the mid-1930s. The use of the word ‘gold’ in English language books reached its peak… and began a steep, multi-decade decline. The last 10 years though, have seen that trend begin to shift...
A decision by the FHFA requiring the GSEs to finally release detailed information on loans they acquired and guaranteed uncovers an ugly truth about the GSEs that many should be aware of (as we noted the exuberance here). The release was only required on 35 million fully-amortizing, full documentation, 30-year fixed rate mortgages, which means as JPMorgan's Michael Cembalest notes the underwriting histories on another 20-30 million loans (e.g., the riskier ones) remain a mystery (and likely will forever). As Cembalest concludes, some people made up their minds on all the factors causing the housing crisis in 2009, and others in 2011. As long as new information keeps coming out, it seems premature to close the book on it, he adds, first, the private sector descent into underwriting hell took place well after the multi-trillion dollar GSE balance sheets had gone there first; and second, there are many reasons to wonder how bad the former would have been had the latter not preceded it.
Fingers of Instability
Ian Buruma: “The truth can be brutal, and makes life uncomfortable. So one looks the other way.”
The Hemisphere Project (f/k/a Hudson Hawk): The Latest Spy Scandal Involving 4 Billion Recorded Phone Calls Per DaySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/02/2013 15:02 -0500
It is convenient that in a recent post covering the latest historic Verizon M&A deal we showed a spaghetti chart, created by the WSJ, of the US telecom space because it lays roughly how many current subscribers that other US telecom giant, AT&T, has. The reason for this is that according to the latest revelations from the NYT, which following recent work-sharing with the Guardian is now another official distributor of the Edward Snowden leaks (who in a brilliant move has decided to spread out his disclosures week after week, many times allowing such staggered disclosures to catch the administration - which has no idea what is coming next - in flagrant lies), the chart above shows that 140 million landline and wireless paying AT&T customers is the minimum number of affected Americans whose every call is recorded, however not directly or indirectly by the government, but rather by a private corporation working in collaboration with the US government.
The name of the collaboration: the Hemisphere Project, fomerly Hudson Hawk.
Just how far have our countries gone in the so-called fight against terrorism that they have been waging every single second since 9/11?
George Orwell's prescient book 1984 envisioned a technologically-enabled authoritarian state of ubiquitous surveillance, propaganda and fear that constantly rewrote history to suit the needs of the present regime. Welcome to the new, improved 1984, America 2013. Ubiquitous surveillance: check. Ubiquitous propaganda extolling the state and central bank: check. Perpetual fear-mongering: check. Perpetual war against an unseen enemy who can never be defeated: check. Police state with essentially unlimited powers to suppress "enemies of the state": check. Continual revision of history to support the current party line: check. However, Orwell underestimated the power of complicity; once you get a check from the state, you begin loving your servitude.
In short, pretty much everything.
President Transparency, in the interest of protecting his Administration’s spotless record of least transparent ever, has decided to erase sections of his original campaign website so that inconvenient and broken promises (i.e., every single thing he said) can’t be so easily exposed. The section in question... 'Protect Whistleblowers'...
In this manner, all citizens anywhere could be under surveillance by any government, including their own, beyond any kind of effective control and oversight.
Unless You Know About This Spying Method, You Might Say Something Which Could Get You In Hot Water
Over the course of decades we have allowed ourselves to be corrupted by the love of material possessions, the lure of a debt based faux wealth, the money for nothing entitlement promises of dishonorable politicians, the evil of currency debasement, the effectiveness of mass media propaganda, and the belief that we could sacrifice freedom and liberty for promises of safety and security made by a cabal of powerful rich men. Power has been concentrated into the hands of the few, who operate in secrecy and despise the people. They don’t want transparency or open debate. Freedom of speech is nothing but a thorn in their side. They believe they are smarter than the serfs and have no morality when it comes to committing illegal acts and disregarding the Constitution. They are not acting in the public interest. Their abuse of power and looting of the national wealth have put us on a path towards a bloody revolution. This is not a time for conformity, obedience or submission. It’s time to stand up and expose the evil doers. It’s time to rally around those who care about this country. Who are the real traitors? You know the answer.
Establishment politicians from both major political parties are rushing to defend the NSA and condemn whistleblower Edward Snowden. They are attempting to portray Edward Snowden as a "traitor" and the spooks over at the NSA that are snooping on all of us as "heroes". In fact, many of the exact same politicians that once railed against government spying during the Bush years are now staunchly defending it now that Obama is in the White House. But it isn't just Democrats that are acting shamefully. Large numbers of Republican politicians that love to give speeches about "freedom" and "liberty" are attempting to eviscerate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The government is not supposed to invade our privacy and investigate us unless there is probable cause to do so. Apparently many of our politicians misunderstood when they read the novel 1984 by George Orwell. It wasn't supposed to be an instruction manual.
In the last 24 hours, sales of the 'big brother' book 1984 on Amazon.com have soared by almost 7000% as the reality of the surveillance state come to the public's attention. As Liberty Blitzkrieg's Mike Krieger notes, we suppose it makes sense that people would want to get up to speed on the dystopian world being constructed rapidly and secretly around them. 1984 is now the 4th fastest rising sales book and 184th most popular on Amazon!