After writing more than a dozen articles criticizing the finance of a major state-owned construction equipment-maker, journalist Chen Yongzhou was arrested (accused of defamation). Though not a 300 page PowerPoint presentation, Chen's arrest, which coincides with new curbs on journalists, lawyers and internet users in China, throws into question the role of whistleblowers even as the country's leadership moves to eradicate graft. Of course, as Reuters reports, no police comment was made but the company added, "we did it to safeguard the legitimate rights of the company," after Chen (ironically) reported that Changsha-based Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co. Ltd. engaged in sales fraud, exaggerated its profits and used public relations to defame its competitors, accusations strongly denied by the company. Media experts said the commentary was unusual but not highly controversial, though it definitely makes one wonder how soon "negativity" will be clamped down in the US.
In a “Sponsorship Agreement” between the Maryland Health Connection and the Ravens, Judicial Watch reports that the state (read taxpayers) will pay the Super Bowl champs $130,000 to push Obamacare on television, radio, the team’s official website, its newsletter and in social media. If Obamacare is the great thing that we are constantly reassured it to be, why are we seeing the administration feeling the need to constantly market, pitch, and sell the idea by any means possible (from keg standing college students to Superbowl shuffles)?
- Top China Banks Triple Debt Write-Offs as Defaults Loom (BBG)
- PBOC suspends open market operations again (Global Times)
- Eurozone bank shares fall after ECB outlines health check plan (FT)
- O-Care falling behind (The Hill)
- Key House Republican presses tech companies on Obamacare glitches (Reuters)
- J.P. Morgan Faces Another Potential Huge Payouta (WSJ)
- Yankees Among 10 MLB Teams Valued at More Than $1 Billion (BBG)
- Free our reporter, begs newspaper as China cracks down on journalists (Reuters)
- Peugeot Reviews Cost-Saving Alliance With GM (WSJ)
Just one day after the deal in Congress was reached, the U.S. national debt rose by an astounding 328 billion dollars. In the blink of an eye we shattered the 17 trillion dollar mark with no end in sight. We are stealing about $100,000,000 from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day. This goes on 24 hours a day, month after month, year after year without any interruption. The U.S. national debt is now 37 times larger than it was 40 years ago, and we are on pace to accumulate more new debt under the 8 years of the Obama administration than we did under all of the other presidents in U.S. history combined. So what will happen when the rest of the world decides that they don't need to use our dollars or buy our debt any longer? At that point the consequences of decades of incredibly foolish decisions will result in an avalanche of economic pain that the American people are not prepared for.
It’s all for play isn’t it when the French Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls summons the US Ambassador?
- Despite budget win, Obama has weak hand with Congress (Reuters)
- Carney Brings In McKinsey for Bank of England Strategy Rethink (BBG)
- Bill Gates Buys Stake in Spanish Construction Company FCC (WSJ)
- Jerusalem Mayor Barkat Seeks New Term in Race Arabs Sitting Out (BBG)
- J.P. Morgan Aimed to Limit Damage (WSJ)
- EU Lawmakers Reject Draghi Call for Bank Bondholder Clemency (BBG)
- Wall Street Profits May Halve in Second Half (WSJ)
- Petrobras-led group wins Brazil oil auction with minimum bid (Reuters)
- Apple to Refresh IPads Amid Challenges for Tablet Share (BBG)
- Italy plans to offer guarantees on govt bond derivatives (Reuters)
- Berkshire Beats Apple as Favorite Stock of Tiger 21 Group (BBG)
NSA Busted Conducting Industrial Espionage In France, Mexico, Brazil, China and All Around the WorldSubmitted by George Washington on 10/21/2013 11:46 -0500
The Spying Has Been Going On For DECADES
- FHFA Is Said to Seek at Least $6 Billion From BofA for MBS Sales (BBG)
- Record Pact Is on the Table, But J.P. Morgan Faces Fight (WSJ)
- Magnetar Goes Long Ohio Town While Shorting Its Tax Base (BBG)
- Mini-Wall Street' Rises in Hamptons (WSJ)
- Obama to call healthcare website glitches 'unacceptable' as fix sought (Reuters)
- Starbucks Charges Higher Prices in China, State Media Says (WSJ)
- Cruz Is Unapologetic as Republicans Criticize Shutdown (BBG)
- Berlusconi struggles to keep party united after revolt (Reuters)
- SAC Defections Accelerate as Cohen Approaches Settlement (BBG)
Mayor Bloomberg's crusade to micromanage what New Yorkers put in their mouth has so far failed, but that just means the attempt to impose the first "New Normal" nanny state, in which individual calorie consumption is regulated for the greater good by the even greater government, has simply shifted its geographic location. In this case to Mexico, which according to the OECD has surpassed the US as the world's fattest country and is "notorious for its love of sweets, fried foods and pastries" where as the WSJ reports, the lower House of Congress passed on Thursday a special tax on junk food that is seen as potentially the broadest of its kind, part of an ambitious Mexican government effort to contain runaway rates of obesity and diabetes.
In what is a staggering example of not only state meddling in the affairs of the "free press", but worse, sheer state idiocy, yesterday the WSJ posted an article on its website revealing that as many as 24 co-conspirators would be exposed shortly in the ongoing Libor manipulation scandal and divulging the names of various individuals on this list. What promptly followed was truly bizarre. As the WSJ reports shortly after posting the article, "a British judge ordered the Journal and David Enrich, the newspaper's European banking editor, to comply with a request by the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office prohibiting the newspaper from publishing names of individuals not yet made public in the government's ongoing investigation into alleged manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor." This happened at 7:18 pm London time, after the original WSJ article had already hit the Internet. What's worse: the names had already been made public, and through this statist intervention, it only assured that everyone would now read just who was on the list.
Mere weeks after the Merkel re-election, it will come as no surprise to anyone that Greece is to be bailed out for the third time. Germany's Die Zeit newspaper notes the government is assembling a Greek bailout plan which essentially has four gimmicks to fill the "high-single-digit-billion" budget shortfall. Despite having been told time and again that the worst is over, Greek Bailout III will entail shifting cash from the bank recap fund, Bill sales to specific banks which can be instantly collateralized with the ECB, possible extensions of credit by existing creditors, and reduction in interest rates on existing debt. Of course, we will be told that this is the last time and that Greece will emerge victorious in just 1 or 2 more years...but after a few weeks of epic strength, the Athens stock index is giving some back in the last 2 days.
In the midst of a domestic crisis, it is easy to forget that the rest of the world is watching. Now that the U.S. federal government has shut down for the first time since the mid 1990s, the talk of the town is the political problems of the world’s largest economy and sole superpower. In China, most media reports about the shutdown have been merely informative, but every now and then they offer a rare insight into what the Chinese have learned about America’s shortcomings. Yet other commentators find the federal shutdown inspiring. the newspaper Nanfang Dushi Bao commended the strength of American society for being able to function without the government. Interestingly, while the American public sees the shutdown as a government failure, some Chinese are seeing it as a sign of efficiency.
Following President Obama's "win" a few years ago, the headline above may not be as entirely surprising as some would expect. However, we can't help but feel the Syrian President's comments represented his actual perspective and his 'just kidding'-moment was 13-year-old-girl-esque covering-up of the stunning comment given the 115,000 dead in his nation so far from the conflict. As The Tribune reports, the prize, which was given to the global chemical weapons watchdog on Friday, “should have been mine”, Assad said, according to Al-Akhbar newspaper. Hey, there's always next year Bashar...
Having been urged by none other than Nigel Farage to see some kind of alternative sane path forward, the Croatian government decided instead that accession to the EU was for them. Now, according to government estimates, since the joined the EU on July 1st, exports have fallen by 11% compared to the same period last year. As presseurop reports, The decline for the month of August alone was 19%. During the first eight months of this year, exports were down by 6.3% when compared with 2012. The reason for the fall-off, notes the newspaper, has do with the impact of EU accession — "which has exposed Croatia to greater international competition, and the loss of privileges associated with the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)." Looks like Farage was right...
Another of history’s many lessons is that governments under pressure become thieves. And today’s governments are under a lot of pressure.