SWIFT

Do We Need The State?

The electorate of the industrial democracies broadly seem to accept the role of the State in every aspect of their lives, education, health & pensions being prime examples. This is largely unchallenged by modern press, media and politicians. No matter how great the failure in any aspect of our lives by the State criticism will usually focus on how it failed, rarely if ever will the vital question be asked "is this the role of the State?"

Dramatic Drone Footage Shows Syrian Army Advancing Toward Islamic State Capital

The video shows army vehicles, including tanks and missile launchers, taking positions on Thursday after claiming victory over IS militants at the Zakiyah Crossroad, a strategic area at the border between Hama and Raqqa provinces. Syrian forces reportedly advanced over 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) towards Raqqa within two days, while driving the rebels before them, in an offensive backed by Russian air strikes.

The Rise Of The Meta Criminal: Is The NSA Manipulating The Stock Market?

Embedded deep in the much-heralded December 2013 White House task force report on spying and snooping, under recommendations, is this nugget: “Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate financial systems.” We quite rightly wondered: why were these warnings in the report?

Brazil's New Anti-Corruption Minister Quits After Leak Exposes His Involvement In Corruption Scandal

Things for the new, just as corrupt as his predecessor president, Michel Temer got particularly awkward, not to mention painfully ironic, when none other than Brazil's Transparency and Anti-Corruption Minister, Fabiano Silveira resigned on Monday after leaked recordings suggested he tried to derail a sprawling corruption probe, the latest cabinet casualty impacting interim President Michel Temer's administration.

Why Cheap Shale Gas Will End Soon

Enthusiasts believe that shale gas is simultaneously cheap, abundant and profitable thus defying all rules of business and economics. That is magical thinking.

"He's Burning Down The House" - Clinton Campaign Furious At Sanders Insistence On Democracy

"This is the worst case scenario, and the one people feared the most. Unfortunately he's choosing the path of burning down the house. He continues with character attacks against Hillary. He continues with calling the Democratic party corrupt, and he not only risks damaging Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party but he's currently donig it." said a Clinton ally according to The Hill. With almost every national and state poll showing Sen. Sanders doing much, much better than Secretary Clinton against Donald Trump, it is clear that millions of Americans have growing doubts about the Clinton campaign.

Little Known Lawsuit Exposes Yet Another Major Cyberheist In 'Secure' Global Payments System

A few months ago, we reported the incredible story of how hackers stole $100 million from Bangladesh Central Bank by way of the New York Federal Reserve. Now, thanks to a little noticed lawsuit, details are emerging that hackers had initially stolen another $12 million from a bank in Ecuador, Banco del Austro, although the bank was able to get back about $2.8 million of the stolen money.

Heavy Metals Sending A Warning To Economy, Markets

The vast under-performance of industrial metals compared to precious metals may be a warning sign regarding the strength of economic demand and/or investor skittishness. Furthermore, if recent history is a guide, the stock market may have a difficult time defying gravity much further as the industrial metals continue their relative deterioration

Frontrunning: May 13

  • Nerves dominate before U.S. retail numbers (Reuters)
  • Stocks Give Up Week’s Gains as Commodities Fall; Yen, Bonds Rise (BBG)
  • Apple Invests $1 Billion in Didi, Uber’s Rival in China (WSJ)
  • Dollar hits two-week high, posts best fortnight since February (Reuters)
  • OPEC Sees Rival Oil Production Declining as Markets Rebalance (WSJ)
  • Trump on best behavior as he woos Republicans but differences remain (Reuters)

Getting It All Straight - Trumpism, Nationalism, Patriotism, & Libertarianism

Speaking very generally, American libertarianism is consistent nationalism: not the expansionist, militaristic nationalism of Europe, but that of the Founders. In this country, a nationalist necessarily upholds the American tradition of limited government, the rule of law, and – yes – “isolationism” (“She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy”). No wonder John Kerry preaches the virtues of a “borderless world,” and warns graduating students of the dangers of “looking inward”! Empires aspiring to world hegemony don’t recognize the legitimacy of borders, and as for looking inward – why do that when we have a whole world to conquer?

P2P Bubble Bursts? LendingClub Stock Plummets 25% After CEO Resigns On Internal Loan Review

Moments ago all of our warnings about P2P lending were validated (quite painfully for those still long the company) and the Peer2Peer bubble may have finally burst, when as part of its Q1 earnings release, the board of directors announced that on May 6, 2016 it had accepted the resignation of Renaud Laplanche as Chairman and CEO. His resignation followed an internal review of sales of $22 million in near-prime loans to a single investor.