New York Times
There was a time when wealthy foreigners would frequently travel all the way to these United States in order to receive top notch medical attention. Fast forward a decade or two, and all we hear about now is how it is us Americans being forced abroad in order to receive affordable care. From a hip and knee implant cartel of five companies, kickbacks to surgeons, salespeople in the operating room, massive bureaucratic red tape and rampant price gouging, in complete contrast to the Hippocratic Oath; it is perhaps no surprise that "the list price of a total hip implant increased nearly 300 percent from 1998 to 2011."
"No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear."
- Edmund Burke
Some analysts and Congressional officials suggested Friday that emphasizing a terrorist threat now was a good way to divert attention from the uproar over the N.S.A.’s data-collection programs, and that if it showed the intercepts had uncovered a possible plot, even better.
- NY Times article from August 2, 2013: Qaeda Messages Prompt U.S. Terror Warning
- Botulism toxin? There's an apology for that - Fonterra CEO apologizes, sees China dairy curbs lifted within days (Reuters)
- Patent troll-In-Chief strikes again: Veto of Apple Ruling Likely to Upend Big Patent Battles (WSJ)
- Because scapegoating means justice FTW - SEC Gets ‘Shot in the Arm’ With Victory in Tourre Case (BBG)
- Insider-Trading Probe Caught in a Washington Knot (WSJ)
- Miners return to hedging as gold (FT)
- Toyota’s $37 Billion Cash Pile Means Turning Point for Abenomics (BBG)
- Inside the battle at Germany's Siemens (Reuters)
- ‘One million’ UK workers on zero hours contracts (FT)
- Wag the dog, part 1984: Iran Seen Trying New Path to a Bomb (WSJ)
- Tokyo Cheap to Hong Kong Luring Asian Bargain Hunters (BBG)
Greed; corporate arrogance; lobbying influence; excessive leverage; accounting tricks to hide debt; lack of transparency; off balance sheet obligations; mark to market accounting; short-term focus on profit to drive compensation; failure of corporate governance; as well as auditors, analysts, rating agencies and regulators who were either lax, ignorant or complicit. This laundry list of causes has often been used to describe what went wrong in the credit crunch crisis of 2008-2010. Actually these terms were equally used to describe what went wrong with Enron more than twenty years ago. Both crises resulted in what at the time was the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history — Enron in December 2001 and Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Naturally, this leads to the question that despite all the righteous indignation in the wake of Enron's failure did we really learn or change anything?
Amid all the high-fives over stocks hitting all-time highs and Edward Snowden's temporary freedom hogging the headlines yesterday, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf quietly pointed out that, due to an "abundance of caution," an unspecified number of US embassies and consulates in the Muslim world will be closed this weekend (and diplomatic facilities maybe longer). House foreign affairs committee chairman Royce suggested this morning that this closure is 'Al-Qaeda-threat-related'; and, as AP reports, the last major warning came last fall when embassies warned American diplomatic facilities across the Muslim world of potential violence around Sept. 11. (and the disaster that was Benghazi). But we can't help but worry about the coincident 'leak' by US officials of Israel's airstrike on Syria (and the potential forced response from Assad this would seem to portend).
Trough-feeding debtism faces the need to clean up its detritus.
Tepco Has NO IDEA How to Stabilize the Reactors
NSA Spying Directly Harms Internet Companies, Silicon Valley, California … And the Entire U.S. EconomySubmitted by George Washington on 07/31/2013 12:47 -0500
Mass Surveillance Is “Killing Our Most Productive Golden Goose”
When Bad Government Policy Leads to Bad Results, the Government Manipulates the Data … Instead of Changing PolicySubmitted by George Washington on 07/30/2013 14:09 -0500
Problem ... What Problem?
Gold owners are almost universally familiar with the story of Franklin Roosevelt criminalizing the ownership of gold back in 1933. The term gold ‘nationalization’ is often thrown around. But remember, with nationalization, it’s the state that takes control of an asset. Executive Order 6012 took assets from private individuals, and then gave those assets to a private company – the Federal Reserve. This isn’t nationalization. It’s just theft. You’d think that the entire nation would have been in an uproar. But surprisingly, this wasn’t the case. History shows that the likelihood of a government pillaging its citizens’ wealth is directly proportional to that government’s fiscal health.
Kate and William had a boy. Our bet on a name is George, but only because that appears to be the odds-on favorite among the London bookies. Still, all that money flowing around must at least be a little “Smart”, right? But as ConvergEx's Nick Colas notes, the same dynamic applies, albeit on a larger and hopefully more informed scale, when it comes to how capital markets price securities. We have our baselines – the price-earnings ratio of the market, the interest rate on Treasuries, the average price per square foot for real estate, and so forth – and then we tweak everything else up or down from there. That method has the benefit of simplicity, but comes with problems as well. More than anything, Colas warns, it pushes investors to “Anchor” their notions of valuation to benchmarks which may move when the wind shifts.
Surplus capital used to be the understood as the primary challenge, but this fell out of favor. This essay seeks to return it to the center of the narrative.
Ron Paul wrote this scathing assessment and prediction about the newly created DHS eleven years ago. He was outraged by the $3 billion price tag. The DHS 2014 budget is $60 billion. Were his warnings about the American people being spied on by our government accurate? Are you safer today than you were in 2002? Do you have more or less liberty and freedom than you had in 2002? Was it worth it?
The "coming economic collapse" has already been happening. You see, the truth is that the economic collapse is not a single event. It has already started, it is happening right now, and it will accelerate during the years ahead. The statistics in this article show very clearly that the U.S. economy has fallen dramatically over the past ten years or so. The mainstream media will continue to scoff knowingly, "An economic collapse is never going to happen. We can consume far more wealth than we produce forever. We can pile up gigantic mountains of debt forever. There is no way that the party is over. In fact, the party is just getting started. Woo-hoo!"Anyone with half a brain should be able to see what is coming. Just open your eyes and look at the facts...
As the mainstream American press goes after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, Germany's Spiegel note that the leakers' revelations appear to becoming an afterthought. As the Guardian's American chief noted, their competition has a "lack of skepticism on a whole" when it comes to national security. Critical scrutiny, she said, has been considered "unpatriotic" since 9/11.