en Unsound Money Has Destroyed The Middle Class <p><em>Authored by <a href="">Bonner &amp; Partners&#39; Bill Bonner</a>, (<a href="">Annotated by Acting-Man&#39;s Pater Tenebrarum</a>),</em></p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Duped and Distorted</strong></span></h3> <p><strong>When you start thinking about what money is and how it works, you face isolation, shunning, and possible incarceration.</strong> The subject is so slippery &ndash; like a bead of mercury on a granite countertop &ndash; you become frustrated&hellip; and then&hellip; maniacal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="maniac-4" class="aligncenter wp-image-45973" height="360" src="" width="640" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">What thinking about money can do to you</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Illustration by <span class="st">Jhonen Vasquez</span></p> <p>&nbsp;<span id="more-45971">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong>You begin talking to yourself, because no one else will listen to you. If you are not careful, you may be locked up among the criminally insane.</strong></p> <p>We&rsquo;ve been thinking about money for the last couple of months. It has become our favorite subject. That is why people edge away from us at parties. Our family finds novel ways to change the subject.</p> <p>&ldquo;Whoa&hellip; sorry to interrupt, Dad&hellip; but isn&rsquo;t that a flying saucer?&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Undaunted, we press on. We think we&rsquo;re onto something important. We have come so far; we might as well go the whole way.</strong></p> <p>Economist George Gilder&rsquo;s new book,&nbsp;<em>The Scandal of Money</em>, came as an unexpected reinforcement. He has been thinking about money, too. But he seemed fairly normal in Las Vegas last week. No facial tics. No babbling or paranoid delusions.</p> <p>Gilder has come to much the same conclusions from a different direction. It is not real money. It only pretends to be. It has duped the entire world &ndash; and distorted the entire global economy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Neither Cash nor Gold</strong></span></h3> <p>We&rsquo;ve already connected most of the dots. Today, we draw a new line from this new dollar to the impoverishment of the middle class. It explains why even Donald J. Trump &ndash; a man with none of the qualities you would normally look for in a chief executive &ndash; is the Republican presidential nominee.</p> <p>The phenomenon is teased up for us by one of our own dear readers, who writes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;Dear Mr. Bonner, you are brilliant. But you are missing a very important piece of the puzzle. As someone that had the unique experience of watching a whole economy transformed from a free market economy to Communism (the state centralized economy Cuban experiment under Fidel Castro and his cronies), I can testify that ultimately neither cash nor gold matter.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>There is no shortage of paper money in Cuba. But there is nothing to buy with it. All the money in the world and all the gold in the world cannot buy you a cup of coffee, if no-one is willing to produce it.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Yes, exactly. Money is not wealth. It only measures the stuff that you can buy with it. </strong>No stuff? Then money is worthless. Imagine a man at the North Pole. He is starving and freezing to death.</p> <p>You give him a Ben Franklin. What is it worth? Zero. Give him a gold coin? Same thing. Good money honestly measures output. It is the output that is the real wealth. And if you want wealth, you have to produce.</p> <p><strong>That is the meaning of Say&rsquo;s Law: You buy stuff with stuff, not money. Bad money, however, tricks up the whole system.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Say" class="aligncenter wp-image-45976" height="500" src="" width="500" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Believe it or not, France was once home to numerous great economists, and Jean-Baptiste Say was one of them (by contrast, nowadays the country&rsquo;s most prominent&nbsp; economists tend to be Marxists like Thomas Pikkety). A major implication of Say&rsquo;s law is that if one wants to consume, one must first produce. Today&rsquo;s economic planners are as a rule trying to put the cart before the horse and keep being surprised that it doesn&rsquo;t work.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Engraving via Wikimedia Commons</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Populist Rage</strong></span></h3> <p>How badly the system has been tricked up was the unintended subject of a recent article in the&nbsp;Financial Times.</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;Populist rage puts global elites on notice,&rdquo;</strong></em> writes the ever-elite, Parasitocracy mouthpiece Mr. Martin Wolf.</p> <p>Poor Mr. Wolf. He conveniently misses the real cause of the &ldquo;rage&rdquo; &ndash; the phony money system put in place by the elite. He shows no interest in our perverse money system, but has begun foaming at the mouth anyway.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="martin-wolf" class="aligncenter wp-image-45975" height="432" src="" width="500" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Establishment mouthpiece Martin Wolf, who ironically has been screaming for more money printing at every opportunity (for a few examples over the years, see e.g. &ldquo;<a href="">The Helicopter Wolf at the Door</a>&rdquo;, &ldquo;<a href="">The Money Cranks are Loose</a>&rdquo; or &ldquo;<a href="">Establishment Quacks Call for More Money Printing</a>&rdquo;). It has been known since the publication of Richard Cantillon&rsquo;s seminal treatise <em>&nbsp;Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général</em> that &nbsp;introducing additional money created <em>ex nihilo</em> into the economy will (among other things) lead to wealth redistribution, as new money doesn&rsquo;t reach all economic actors evenly or simultaneously (the essay can be <a href="">read for free here</a>). Written in 1730, and considered &ldquo;the cradle of political economy&rdquo; by Jevons, it somehow seems to have escaped the attention of the FT&rsquo;s chief economics commentator &ndash; who, not to put too fine a point to it, is a complete money crank. Allegedly he once said that there was a &ldquo;need for new ideas&rdquo;, but the economic recipes he himself promotes have produced nothing but failure for <em>ages</em>. In fact, the crude inflationism supported by Mr. Wolf and a whole host of modern-day central planners is just about the hoariest economic idea there is. Its practical implementation predates the misguided economic theories trying to provide it with a &ldquo;scientific&rdquo; fig leaf by many centuries. Let us not forget, inflationism <em>inter alia</em> brought down the Roman Empire. If Mr. Wolf wants to save his precious elites, he should actually consider refraining from calling for more of the same.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Photo credit: Financial Times</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The gist of Mr. Wolf&rsquo;s warning is that the elites had better take notice. &ldquo;Real income stagnation over a longer period than any since 1945 is a fundamental fact,&rdquo; he continues.</p> <p>During the most recent end of that period &ndash; from 2005 to 2014 &ndash; for example, almost 100% of Italian households have seen their real incomes fall or remain flat. In the U.S., 80% of households have experienced the same fate. Britain, France, and the Netherlands are only slightly better.</p> <p>Since 1980, employment in manufacturing &ndash; the source of good wages for the middle and lower classes &ndash; has fallen in all the major developed economies, including Germany and Japan. In most of them, it has been roughly cut in half.</p> <p>We&rsquo;re not sure if it were these facts themselves, or the dreaded populist rage&hellip;&nbsp;&nbsp; but after reciting them, poor Mr. Wolf begins eating the rug:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em>&ldquo;Prolonged stagnation, cultural upheavals and policy failures are combining to shake the balance between democratic legitimacy and global order.</em></strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em>&ldquo;The candidacy of Mr. Trump is a result. Those who reject the chauvinist response must come forward with imaginative and ambitious ideas aimed at reestablishing that balance.</em></strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em>&ldquo;Our civilization itself is at stake.&rdquo;</em></strong></span></p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="A-top-damage-moth" class="aligncenter wp-image-45979" height="443" src="" width="640" /><em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Now we know who did this!</em> A linguistic aside: according to Jonathon Green&rsquo;s <em>Dictionary of Slang, </em>the expression &ldquo;chewing the carpet&rdquo; is 1950s US slang, defined as &lsquo;<em>to lose emotional control, to have a temper tantrum</em>&lsquo;. It is thought that Hitler was actually the source of the expression, as he displayed very odd behavior at times, which testified to his highly imbalanced state of mind. According to John Toland&rsquo;s Hitler biography, incidents of Hitler literally chewing the edge of a carpet in a blind rage were indeed witnessed by several members of his inner circle at the &ldquo;Eagle&rsquo;s Nest&rdquo; near Berchtesgaden in Bavaria (if you see someone doing that, try to make sure he doesn&rsquo;t come to power).</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="257" height="169" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Cantillon Cantillon Crude France Germany Global Economy Japan Las Vegas Netherlands None Roman Empire Wed, 27 Jul 2016 08:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567289 at The Day Data-Dependence Died: US Macro Has Longest-Winning Streak In History <p>Something &#39;odd&#39; is going on. Amid the plethora of <em>11-foot-tall-men multiple-standard deviation beats</em> in recent economic data, the <strong>Citi Macro Surprise Index did something it has never done before - it rose for 21 days straight</strong> - breaking the last 5 years trends of seasonal dumps (into mid-year) and pumps (into fiscal year-end)...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="306" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em>Consider that the 2nd longest winning-streak in US Macro data was 15 days in June 2008</em></p> <p>After 18 months of disappointment, out of nowhere, the<strong> index ripped higher at the fastest rate since 2009 to its highest since Jan 2014</strong>.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="300" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With <strong>China calm,</strong> Brexit behind us, US equities at record highs, volatility at near-record lows, and macro data trends never been better... <strong><em>what possible excuse does a &#39;data-dependent&#39; Fed have for not hiking rates today?</em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="316" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Simply put, if The Fed does not raise rates today, then it is clear there is another agenda diametrically-opposed to their self-defined data-dependence... in other words, <strong><em>this will be the day data-dependence died!</em></strong></p> <p>Rick Santelli gets it!!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src=";byGuid=3000537641&amp;size=530_298" width="530" height="298" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" bgcolor="#131313"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="960" height="489" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Rick Santelli Volatility Wed, 27 Jul 2016 07:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567343 at Beware The "Crisis Actors" - Goring, Erdogan, Krugman, Cramer, Draghi, Yellen <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Ben Hunt via Salient Partners&#39; Epsilon Theory blog,</em></a></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 574px; height: 1075px;" /></a></p> <p><strong><em>Hermann Göring and the Nazis didn&rsquo;t burn the Reichstag down in 1933. They left that to a simpleton Communist patsy (that&rsquo;s him in the photo; quite the ur-terrorist, no?). But Göring and the Nazis used the Reichstag fire as their excuse to arrest thousands, establish Hitler as the Führer and unleash a decade-plus of fascist horror on Germany and the world. History is rhyming today, as it always does.</em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 290px;" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>Just need a little hair dye on that Erdogan moustache, and I think we&rsquo;re good to go.</strong></em></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 574px; height: 521px;" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>My favorite De Niro role, worth watching just for the fingernails and the way the man eats an egg.</strong></em></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 574px; height: 492px;" /></a></p> <p><strong><em>Four people died at the 1969 Altamont concert, including a front row murder during the Stones set. It&rsquo;s fun to strut on stage and sing about this stuff, until the Hells Angels show you what you&rsquo;re singing about.</em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 572px; height: 164px;" /></a></p> <p><strong><em>Everything I know about politics, I learned from &ldquo;The Wire&rdquo;. That and a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard. But mostly &ldquo;The Wire&rdquo;.</em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 572px; height: 316px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>I think it&rsquo;s a guy thing, this willingness to be a patsy for a cause, be it love, or lust, or greed, or religion &hellip; or a political party. Don&rsquo;t be a patsy. Be a Sam Spade. Be an Omar. </em></strong></p> <p><strong>A &ldquo;crisis actor&rdquo; is a familiar theme in all sorts of conspiracy theories.</strong> Basically, the idea is that terrorist attacks and the like are false-flag operations, where nefarious government agencies kill their own citizens, directly or indirectly, in order to instill fear and maintain popular support for the smiley-face authoritarianism of the modern State. <strong>Crisis actors are the patsies hired by the agencies to weep and wail for the cameras</strong>, creating the initial Narrative of terror and supporting the follow-on Narrative of steely government resolve to track down the supposed bad guys.</p> <p><strong>As per usual with conspiracy theories, the specifics of their claims about crisis actors are nonsense.</strong> It&rsquo;s not &ldquo;the same girl&rdquo; crying at Newtown and Orlando and Nice, as the photos on conspiracy websites claim. CNN isn&rsquo;t a secret division of the CIA. Neil Armstrong really did walk on the moon.</p> <p>But as also per usual with conspiracy theories, they&rsquo;re not thinking big enough. Crisis acting isn&rsquo;t found in the secret construction of a crime scene. <strong><a href="">It&rsquo;s found in the public construction of a social Narrative</a></strong>. It&rsquo;s found in the <strong><a href="">public statements of the Missionaries</a></strong> (to use the game theory term) who create <strong><a href="">Common Knowledge</a></strong> &mdash; what everyone knows that everyone knows.</p> <p><em><strong><u>Hermann Göring and Erdogan are crisis actors,</u></strong> pretending that the Nazis or the Islamists are the only force standing between the Motherland and political traitors within and abroad, pretending that their &ldquo;emergency policies&rdquo; are anything less than a permanent seizure of political control. </em></p> <p>It&rsquo;s oh so easy to look at what&rsquo;s going on in Turkey and shake our heads and tsk-tsk that awful Erdogan and the awful anti-democratic things he&rsquo;s doing over there. Because it IS awful. What&rsquo;s happening today in Turkey is absolutely a carbon copy of what happened in Germany in 1933 with the Reichstag Fire, and every Western president and prime minister and chancellor and secretary of state and foreign minister &mdash; all of whom are mouthing the same diplo-speak pablum about the Islamist fascists of 2016 that their counterparts mouthed about the Nazi fascists of 1933 &mdash; will have the same stain on their souls. Not that I&rsquo;m sure many of this 2016 crowd have a soul left to stain. As Gertrude Stein famously said about Oakland, and I&rsquo;m saying about these crisis actors, there&rsquo;s no there there. Whatever human beings they used to be, <strong><a href="">it seems they&rsquo;ve been absorbed by their public cartoons</a></strong>, which is really just &hellip; sad.</p> <p>But look homeward, angel. Look homeward, too.</p> <p><em><u><strong>Paul Krugman and Tom Friedman and Jim Cramer and their media Missionary kin are also crisis actors,</strong></u> pretending that the Brexit vote was a deluded, colossal mistake perpetrated on innocent UK voters by economic traitors within and abroad. </em></p> <p><em><u><strong>Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi and their central bank Missionary kin </strong></u>are also crisis actors, pretending that their &ldquo;emergency policies&rdquo;, now more than seven years old, are anything less than a permanent political shift in the global allocation of money and credit. </em></p> <p>I mean, can&rsquo;t we just stop these charades surrounding &ldquo;the Horror of Brexit&rdquo; and &ldquo;data dependence&rdquo;? Can&rsquo;t we just admit that it&rsquo;s all an exercise in &mdash; to use the Fed&rsquo;s terminology &mdash; &ldquo;communication policy&rdquo;, where words are chosen for effect rather than to convey true belief or opinion &hellip; or what we would call in normal human interaction &ldquo;lying&rdquo;?</p> <p>Of course we can&rsquo;t. Whether you&rsquo;re Göring or Erdogan or Yellen or Draghi, once you start weaving that tangled web of deception, you can&rsquo;t un-weave it. Once you sell your soul to the Narrative Devil you can&rsquo;t buy it back. Erdogan can&rsquo;t walk his purge back even if he wanted to. Yellen can&rsquo;t walk her dot plots and forward guidance back even if she wanted to. Draghi and Kuroda are never going to go on stage and shrug their shoulders and say &ldquo;oops, sorry &lsquo;bout that.&rdquo; <strong><a href="">At least St. Louis Fed Governor Jim Bullard didn&rsquo;t have to flee to Greece for his &ldquo;failed dot plot coup&rdquo;</a></strong>.</p> <p>And yeah &hellip; I understand that I&rsquo;m tarring central bankers and their fellow travelers with the fascist brush. Because the road to hell is paved with good intentions as well as bad. Because there IS a moral equivalence between the means used by Göring and Erdogan to accomplish their ends and the means used by central bankers to accomplish theirs. Do the differing ends and the better intentions matter? Of course they do. And that&rsquo;s why Ben Bernanke gets $250,000 per speech and Hermann Göring got a cyanide pill in his prison cell. But the shared means of false Narrative and crisis acting matter, too, because they create a world of profound inauthenticity, where ALL public speech is deemed suspect and self-serving &mdash; because it is! &mdash; and where <strong><a href="">ANY public speech, no matter how demagogue-ish or false or borderline insane, is deemed functionally equivalent to any other speech</a></strong>. Because it is. <strong>It&rsquo;s what I call <em>Gresham&rsquo;s Law of Narrative</em>: inauthentic speech drives authentic speech out of circulation, just like bad money drives good money out of circulation.</strong> If the function of public speech is to persuade rather than inform &mdash; and that&rsquo;s <em>precisely</em> the function of forward guidance and every other status quo political statement of the past seven years &mdash; then it&rsquo;s just comical for those same status quo institutions to complain now that their political opponents are &ldquo;lying&rdquo;. No, they&rsquo;re just more effective persuaders. They&rsquo;re just better liars.</p> <p><strong>And yeah &hellip; I&rsquo;m saying that the rise of Trump and Farage and Le Pen and their ilk is a direct consequence of the communication policy toolkit and the crisis acting employed by every Western central banker and politician over the past seven years. That&rsquo;s exactly what I&rsquo;m saying.</strong></p> <p>As for us investors &hellip; we&rsquo;re the &ldquo;poor slobs on a farm&rdquo; that Hermann Göring talks about in his prison cell interviews during the Nuremberg Trials. We don&rsquo;t want to go to war, whether it&rsquo;s a real-life war like Erdogan is waging or an ersatz war like Yellen and Draghi are waging. As Göring said, the <em>best</em> outcome for us is that we get home to our farms alive. Why in the world would we sign up for that?</p> <p>We sign up for it because we are <strong><a href="">biologically hard-wired over millions of years and socially soft-wired over tens of thousands of years to respond to Narrative</a></strong>. We are social animals in the scientific, technical sense of the phrase, and we &mdash; along with our termite, ant, and bee cousins &mdash; are the four most successful multi-cellular animal species on Earth because of it. The hallmark of what biologists call a eusocial species isn&rsquo;t just that it communicates. It swims in an ocean of communication. It is evolved to be immersed in constant communication. How many waking minutes of every day are you away from some sort of message from other humans? Five? Ten? For me it&rsquo;s however long my morning shower takes. That&rsquo;s about it. Probably about the same amount of time that an ant or a termite goes without a message from another ant or termite. That&rsquo;s the human animal for you &hellip; basically a giant termite with fire. As a eusocial species, we can no more ignore a message from Janet Yellen than an ant can ignore a pheromone from its queen. Not only can we not ignore it, but it WILL move us, in some small way, at least.</p> <p><strong>Thankfully, though, unlike an ant we have self-awareness. Or at least the capacity for self-awareness. We can recognize that this <em>process of Narrative influence</em> is happening to ourselves and to others, and we can resist <em>if we choose to</em>.</strong></p> <p>Now, we will probably go along with whatever the Narrative is suggesting we do, because that&rsquo;s usually the smart play. We know that there are millions of other ants hearing the queen&rsquo;s message, and we know that each of them will be moved by her message. Plus &mdash; and this is the big insight from game theory, the engine for all of these Common Knowledge behaviors &mdash; we know that all of the other ants are thinking about US in exactly the same way we are thinking about THEM. Knowing <em>that</em>, it is entirely rational for each of us to act AS IF the queen&rsquo;s message is True with a capital T.</p> <p>But acting AS IF doesn&rsquo;t mean acting AS. That&rsquo;s what the patsy does. The patsy is the guy who believes, deeply madly truly, that the queen&rsquo;s message is True with a capital T, forever and ever, amen. The patsy is the guy without self-awareness. The patsy is the guy who doesn&rsquo;t recognize that he&rsquo;s being played. As the old poker saying goes, if you&rsquo;ve been playing cards for half an hour and you don&rsquo;t know who the sucker is &hellip; it&rsquo;s you. <a href=""><strong>The entire reason I write Epsilon Theory is to do my small part in preventing people from becoming suckers, from accepting Missionary statements at face value, from believing in their heart of hearts that maybe 2 + 2 = 5 and that maybe the Emperor is wearing a fine suit of clothes after all</strong>.</a> The inescapable human Truth, of course, is that we are ALL being played ALL the time. But if you&rsquo;re self-aware, you can resist. You can resist in your heart even if you comply in your behavior, and you can resist in your behavior if and when you choose. You know that you are being played, and you choose to go along with the game. For now.</p> <p>Okay, Ben, all very heroic and heartfelt, but what do we do?</p> <p>Well&hellip; here&rsquo;s what we don&rsquo;t do. We don&rsquo;t &ldquo;fight the Fed&rdquo;, and we don&rsquo;t stick our head in the sand and pretend that the status quo Missionaries can&rsquo;t construct highly investable rallies. You know, like the rally we&rsquo;re experiencing right now. But by the same token we don&rsquo;t allow ourselves to become a patsy for the Fed or the ECB or the DNC or the RNC or the WSJ or the NYT or CNBC or whatever other institutional collection of initials asks you to play the fool. We should never <em>trust</em> the Fed or any other Missionary, because one day we&rsquo;re going to need to, if not fight them, then at least take ourselves off their battlefield.</p> <p>I think what we need to DO is identify the potential political and economic catalysts coming down the pike and figure out which of these are potential <strong><a href="">Humpty Dumpty moments</a></strong> &mdash; crack-ups in the current system of global credit allocation that are too large for the central banks to piece back together again with their crisis acting and Narrative creation efforts. Then we need to track that Narrative effort so we can <strong><a href="">get the timing right on these massive catalysts</a></strong>.</p> <p><u><strong>Because as any coup-launcher or Fed-fighter or volatility-embracer knows, if you&rsquo;re wrong on timing &hellip; you&rsquo;re just wrong.</strong></u></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="347" height="211" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke Central Banks Epsilon Germany Greece Janet Yellen Jim Cramer Krugman Paul Krugman Salient St Louis Fed St. Louis Fed Turkey Wed, 27 Jul 2016 06:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567349 at Why Hillary Is Nervous: "More Leaks May Be Coming" <p>Over the weekend, Wikileaks posted a treasure trove of emails from various members of the Democrat party which has laid ruin to any hope for civility at the DNC's convention in Philadelphia.&nbsp; That said, <strong>Hillary's campaign seems to be even more concerned about what may be leaked next</strong>. &nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>Jennifer Palmieri, Hillary's communication director, recently told reporters:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“<strong>The WikiLeaks leak was obviously designed to hurt our convention, I don’t think they’re done. That’s how they operate.</strong>&nbsp; We can’t know, but it’s part of the reason that we wanted people to understand our belief that the Russians are behind this.&nbsp; People need to understand — when these leaks happen — what they’re designed to do.”</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Palmieri added that the Clinton campaign was not worried about it's own email security</strong>...which we're sure the American people will find very reassuring in the wake of that pesky little FBI investigation in which we learned just how secure Hillary's email account was.</p> <p>Palmieri’s comments come as Democrats prepare to officially nominate Clinton for president, making her the first woman to be nominated for president by one of the two major political parties.<strong> Judging by yesterday's intraparty strife, one can only imagine how raucous today's roll-call will be.</strong></p> <p>Call us crazy, but the campaign seems to be spending way too much time spinning a narrative about Russian involvement, even going so far as to call on Hillary's friends at the FBI to look into the issue, for this scandal to fade quietly into the night.&nbsp; <strong>Something tells us that Jennifer knows more than she's letting on and that we'll get to review some more leaked emails soon.</strong></p> <p>Alternatively, we're sure Bill could arrange for a <strong>purely coincidental meeting with Putin on a tarmac somewhere</strong> to discuss his "grandchildren" but something tells us his audience might not be as "accommodating" as last time he tried that.<strong></strong></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img src="" width="506" height="347" /></a><br /></strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="800" height="435" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> FBI Wed, 27 Jul 2016 03:50:14 +0000 Tyler Durden 567283 at Stop Drinking The Kool-Aid, America: Political Fiction In An Age Of Televised Lies <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve got to face it. Politics have entered a new stage, the television stage. Instead of long-winded public debates, the people want capsule slogans&mdash;&lsquo;Time for a change&rsquo;&mdash;&lsquo;The mess in Washington&rsquo;&mdash;&lsquo;More bang for a buck&rsquo;&mdash;punch lines and glamour.&rdquo;&mdash;<em>&nbsp;A Face in the Crowd</em>&nbsp;(1957)</p> </blockquote> <p><strong><a href="">Politics is entertainment</a>.</strong></p> <p>It is a heavily scripted, tightly choreographed, star-studded, ratings-driven, mass-marketed, <a href="">costly</a> exercise in how to sell a product&mdash;in this case, a presidential candidate&mdash;to dazzled <strong>consumers who will choose image over substance almost every time</strong>.</p> <p>This year&rsquo;s presidential election, much like every other election in recent years, is what historian Daniel Boorstin referred to as a &ldquo;<a href="">pseudo-event</a>&rdquo;: manufactured, contrived, confected and devoid of any intrinsic value save the value of being advertised. <strong>It is the end result of a culture that is moving away from substance toward sensationalism in an era of mass media</strong>.</p> <p>As author Noam Chomsky rightly <a href="">observed</a>, <em><strong>&ldquo;It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.&rdquo;</strong></em> In other words, we&rsquo;re being sold a <a href="">carefully crafted product</a> by a monied elite who are masters in the art of making the public believe that they need exactly what is being sold to them, whether it&rsquo;s the latest high-tech gadget, the hottest toy, or the most charismatic politician.</p> <p>Tune into a political convention and you will find yourself being sucked into an alternate reality so glossy, star-studded, emotionally charged and entertaining as to make you forget that you live in a police state. The elaborate stage show, the costumes, the actors, the screenplay, the lighting, the music, the drama: all carefully calibrated to appeal to the public&rsquo;s need for bread and circuses, diversion and entertainment, and pomp and circumstance.</p> <p><strong>Politics is a reality show, America&rsquo;s favorite form of entertainment, dominated by money and profit, imagery and spin, hype and personality and guaranteed to ensure that nothing in the&nbsp;way of real truth reaches the populace.</strong></p> <p>After all, who cares about police shootings, drone killings, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture schemes, private prisons, school-to-prison pipelines, overcriminalization, censorship or any of the other evils that plague our nation when you can <a href="">listen to the croonings of Paul Simon</a>, laugh along with Sarah Silverman, and get misty-eyed over the First Lady&rsquo;s vision of progress in America.</p> <p><u><strong>But make no mistake: Americans only <em>think</em> they&rsquo;re choosing the next president.</strong></u></p> <p>In truth, however, they&rsquo;re engaging in the illusion of participation culminating in the reassurance ritual of voting. It&rsquo;s just another <a href=";defid=877786">Blue Pill</a>, a manufactured reality conjured up by the matrix in order to keep the populace compliant and convinced that their vote counts and that they still have some influence over the political process.</p> <p><u><strong>Stop drinking the Kool-Aid, America.</strong></u></p> <p><strong><em>The nation is drowning in debt, crippled by a slowing economy, overrun by militarized police, swarming with surveillance, besieged by endless wars and a military industrial complex intent on starting new ones, and riddled with corrupt politicians at every level of government. All the while, we&rsquo;re arguing over which corporate puppet will be given the honor of stealing our money, invading our privacy, abusing our trust, undermining our freedoms, and shackling us with debt and misery for years to come.</em></strong></p> <p>Nothing taking place on Election Day will alleviate the suffering of the American people.</p> <p><strong>The government as we have come to know it&mdash;corrupt, bloated and controlled by big-money corporations, lobbyists and special interest groups&mdash;will remain unchanged. </strong>And &ldquo;we the people&rdquo;&mdash;overtaxed,&nbsp;overpoliced, overburdened by big government, underrepresented by those who should speak for us and blissfully ignorant of the prison walls closing in on us&mdash;will continue to trudge along a path of misery.</p> <p>With roughly <strong><u>22 lobbyists per Congressman,</u></strong> corporate greed will continue to call the shots in the nation&rsquo;s capital, <a href="">while our elected representatives will grow richer</a> and the people poorer. And elections will continue to be driven by war chests and corporate benefactors rather than such values as honesty, integrity and public service. Just consider: it&rsquo;s estimated that <a href="">more than $5 billion will be spent on the elections this year</a>, yet not a dime of that money will actually help the average American in their day-to-day struggles to just get by.</p> <p>And the military industrial complex will continue to bleed us dry. Since 2001 Americans have spent&nbsp;<a href="">$10.5 million every&nbsp;<em>hour</em>&nbsp;</a>for numerous foreign military occupations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.&nbsp;There&rsquo;s also the&nbsp;<a href="">$2.2 million spent every hour</a>&nbsp;on maintaining the United States&rsquo; nuclear stockpile, and the&nbsp;<a href="">$35,000 spent every hour</a>&nbsp;to produce and maintain our collection of Tomahawk missiles. And then there&rsquo;s the money the government exports to other countries to support their arsenals, at the cost of&nbsp;<a href="">$1.61 million every hour for the American taxpayers</a>.</p> <p>Then again, when faced with the grim, seemingly hopeless reality of the American police state, it&rsquo;s understandable why Americans might opt for escapism. &ldquo;Humankind cannot bear too much reality,&rdquo; T. S. Eliot once said. Perhaps that is one reason we are so drawn to the unreality of the American political experience: it is spectacle and fiction and farce all rolled up into one glossy dose of escapism.</p> <p><u><strong>Frankly, escapism or not, Americans should be mad as hell.</strong></u></p> <p>Many of our politicians live like kings. Chauffeured around in limousines, flying in private jets and eating gourmet meals, all paid for by the American taxpayer, they are far removed from those they represent. Such a luxurious lifestyle makes it difficult to identify with the &ldquo;little guy&rdquo;&mdash;the roofers, plumbers and blue-collar workers who live from paycheck to paycheck and keep the country running with their hard-earned dollars and the sweat of their brows.</p> <p>Conveniently, politicians only seem to remember their constituents in the months leading up to an election, and yet &ldquo;we the people&rdquo; continue to take the abuse, the neglect, the corruption and the lies. We make excuses for the shoddy treatment, we cover up for them when they cheat on us, and we keep hoping that if we just stick with them long enough, eventually they&rsquo;ll treat us right.</p> <p><strong>People get the government they deserve.</strong></p> <p>No matter who wins the presidential election come November, it&rsquo;s a sure bet that the losers will be the American people.</p> <p>As political science professor Gene Sharp notes in starker terms, &ldquo;Dictators are not in the business of allowing elections that could remove them from their thrones.&rdquo; As I make clear in my book <a href=""><em>Battlefield America: The War on the American People</em></a>, the Establishment&mdash;the shadow government and its corporate partners that really run the show, pull the strings and dictate the policies, no matter who occupies the Oval Office&mdash;are not going to allow anyone to take office who will unravel their power structures. Those who have attempted to do so in the past have been effectively put out of commission.</p> <p><u><em><strong>So what is the solution to this blatant display of imperial elitism disguising itself as a populist exercise in representative government?</strong></em></u></p> <p><u><em><strong>Stop playing the game. Stop supporting the system. Stop defending the insanity. Just stop.</strong></em></u></p> <p>Washington thrives on money, so stop giving them your money. Stop throwing your hard-earned dollars away on politicians and Super PACs who view you as nothing more than a means to an end. There are countless worthy grassroots organizations and nonprofits working in your community to address real needs like injustice, poverty, homelessness, etc. Support them and you&rsquo;ll see change you really can believe in in your own backyard.</p> <p><strong>Politicians depend on votes, so stop giving them your vote unless they have a proven track record of listening to their constituents, abiding by their wishes and working hard to earn and keep their trust.</strong></p> <p>Stop buying into the lie that your vote matters. Your vote doesn&rsquo;t elect a president. Despite the fact that there are&nbsp;<a href="">218 million eligible voters</a>&nbsp;in this country (only half of whom actually vote), it is the electoral college,&nbsp;<a href="">made up of 538 individuals</a>&nbsp;handpicked by the candidates&rsquo; respective parties, that actually selects the next president. The only thing you&rsquo;re accomplishing by taking part in the &ldquo;reassurance ritual&rdquo; of voting is sustaining the illusion that we have a democratic republic. What we have is a dictatorship, or as political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page more accurately term it, we are suffering from an &ldquo;<a href="">economic élite domination</a>.&rdquo;</p> <p>A healthy, representative government is hard work. It takes a citizenry that is informed about the issues, educated about how the government operates, and willing to make the sacrifices necessary to stay involved, whether that means forgoing Monday night football in order to attend a city council meeting or risking arrest by picketing in front of a politician&rsquo;s office.</p> <p><strong>It takes a citizenry willing to do more than grouse and complain. We must act&mdash;and act responsibly&mdash;keeping in mind that the duties of citizenship extend beyond the act of voting.</strong></p> <p>Most of all, it takes a citizenry that cares enough to get mad and get active. As Howard Beale declares in the 1976 film <em>Network</em>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m as mad as hell and I&rsquo;m not going to take this anymore.&rsquo; Things have got to change. But first, you&rsquo;ve gotta get mad!...You&rsquo;ve got to say, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m as mad as hell, and I&rsquo;m not going to take this anymore!&rsquo; Then we&rsquo;ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="467" height="397" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Corruption ETC Iraq Kool-Aid Reality The Matrix Wed, 27 Jul 2016 03:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567338 at Yen Plunges On Yet Another Strawman Headline About Stimulus, Then Surges On Denial <p>Update: Well that didn&#39;t last long...</p> <p>Livesquawk:<u><em><strong> Japan Ministry of Finance say it is not true they are considering 50yr bonds - debunking earlier WSJ story</strong></em></u> --Rtrs</p> <p><a href=""><img height="313" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Who could have seen that denial coming?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Has the BOJ denied the trial balloon yet</p> <p>&mdash; zerohedge (@zerohedge) <a href="">July 27, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>USDJPY just spiked back over 106.00 </strong>after headlines suggesting Japanese PM Shinzo Abe will unveil new stimulus as soon as today. News reports on <strong>27t yen fiscal stimulus and issuance of 50-year bond,</strong> both spur yen selling, says David Lu, HK-based director at NBC Financial Markets Asia. We suspect there will be some disappointment after the algos are finished as FNN reports the package will include 13t yen of low-interest loans<em><strong> (so a smaller helicopter than expected)</strong></em> and besides, it&#39;s not like the Japanese are suffering from rates being too high.</p> <p>Abe wil speak today at 0400GMT - no confirmation yet as to whether the stimulus will be the topic.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="319" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>As one analyst noted, it appears Abe pre-announced the stimulus package. It looks like <em><strong>psuedo debt monetization is on the way,</strong></em> if as expected, the BoJ will buy these &#39;low interest loans&#39;. But of course, direct debt monetization will never be admitted to... or will it?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The question is - will this be it? Or is this to strawman the size once again to see if the market (for that is all that matters) will be satiated by Abe&#39;s promises.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="955" height="498" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond headlines Japan Monetization NBC Yen Wed, 27 Jul 2016 03:25:54 +0000 Tyler Durden 567347 at NSA Whistleblower: Not So Fast On Claims Russia Behind Hillary Clinton Email Hack <p>The mainstream media alleges that Russia was behind the hack of Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s emails.</p> <p>The media is parading out <del>the usual suspects</del> alleged experts to back up this claim.</p> <p>Washington&rsquo;s Blog asked the highest-level NSA whistleblower in history, William Binney &ndash; the NSA executive who created the agency&rsquo;s mass surveillance program for digital information, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, who managed six thousand NSA employees, the 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a &ldquo;legend&rdquo; within the agency and the NSA&rsquo;s best-ever analyst and code-breaker, who mapped out the Soviet command-and-control structure before anyone else knew how, and so predicted Soviet invasions before they happened (&ldquo;in the 1970s, he decrypted the Soviet Union&rsquo;s command system, which provided the US and its allies with real-time surveillance of all Soviet troop movements and Russian atomic weapons&rdquo;) &ndash; what he thinks of such claims:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Edward Snowden says the NSA could <a href="">easily</a> <a href="">determine</a> who hacked Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s emails.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But mainstream media say it couldn&rsquo;t:&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="" target="_blank" title=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The mainstream media is also trumpeting the meme that Russia was behind the hack, because it wants to help Trump get elected. In other words, the media is trying to deflect how damaging the email leaks are to Clinton&rsquo;s character by trying to somehow associate Trump with Putin.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>See e.g. <a href="" target="_blank" title=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Who&rsquo;s right?</p> </blockquote> <p>Binney responded:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Snowden is right and the MSM is clueless. Here&rsquo;s what I said to Ray McGovern and VIPS with a little humor at the end. [McGovern is a 27-year CIA veteran, who chaired National Intelligence Estimates and personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, their Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many other senior government officials. McGovern is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (&ldquo;VIPS&rdquo; for short).]</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ray, I am suspicious that they may have looked for known hacking code (used by Russians). And, I&rsquo;m sure they were one probably of many to hack her stuff. But, does that mean that they checked to see if others also hacked in?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Further, do they have evidence that the Russians downloaded and later forwarded those emails to wikileaks? Seems to me that they need to answer those questions to be sure that their assertion is correct. Otherwise, HRC and her political activities are and I am sure have been prime targets for the Russians (as well as many others) but without intent of course.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I would add that we proposed to do a program that would monitor all activity on the world-wide NSA network back in 1991/92. We called it &ldquo;Wellgrounded.&rdquo; NSA did not want anyone (especially congress) to know what was going on inside NSA and therefore rejected that proposal. I have not read what Ed has said, but, I do know that every line of code that goes across the network is logged in the network log. This is where a little software could scan, analyze and find the intruders initially and then compile all the code sent by them to determine the type of attack. This is what we wanted to do back in 1991/92.</p> </blockquote> <p>The newest allegation tying the Clinton email hack to Russia seems to be <a href="" target="_blank" title="all innuendo">all innuendo</a>.</p> <p>Binney explained to us:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&nbsp;My problem is that they have not listed intruders or attempted intrusions to the DNC site.&nbsp; I suspect that&rsquo;s because they did a quick and dirty look for known attacks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, this brings up another question; if it&rsquo;s a know attack, why did the DNC not have software to stop it?&nbsp; You can tell from the network log who is going into a site.&nbsp; I used that on networks that I had.&nbsp; I looked to see who came into my LAN, where they went, how long they stayed and what they did while in my network.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Further, if you needed to, you could trace back approaches through other servers etc. Trace Route and Trace Watch are good examples of monitoring software that help do these things.&nbsp; Others of course exist &hellip; probably the best are in NSA/GCHQ and the other Five Eyes countries.&nbsp; But, these countries have no monopoly on smart people that could do similar detection software.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Question is do they want to fix the problems with existing protection software.&nbsp; If the DNC and OPM are examples, then obviously, they don&rsquo;t care to fix weakness probably because the want to use these weaknesses to their own advantage.</p> </blockquote> <p>Why is this newsworthy?</p> <p>Well, the mainstream narrative alleges that the Clinton emails are not important &hellip; and that it&rsquo;s a conspiracy between Putin and Trump to make sure Trump &ndash; and not Clinton &ndash; is elected.</p> <p>But there are other issues, as well &hellip;</p> <p>For example, an allegation of hacking could <a href="" title="literally">literally</a> lead to <a href="" target="_blank" title="war">war</a>.</p> <p>So we should be skeptical of such serious and potentially far-reaching allegations - which may be true or may be false - unless and until they are <em>proven</em>.</p> ETC national intelligence Wed, 27 Jul 2016 03:16:51 +0000 George Washington 567344 at FelonsVotesMatter (To Hillary) - Clinton's Election Fate In Virginia Lies With 200,000 Unregistered Offenders <p><strong>Reminding us once again that nothing is off limits to the Clintons when it comes to winning elections, </strong><strong><a href="">Politico</a> earlier today wrote about Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe's (D) efforts to register 200,000 ex-felons to vote in November.&nbsp; </strong>For reference, <strong>200,000 is over 5% of the 3.8mm people who voted in the Presidential race in 2012 and is larger than Obama's margin of victory over Mitt Romney of 149,298</strong>.</p> <p>Taking a play from Obama's playbook, McAuliffe signed a sweeping executive order it April 2016 granting 206,000 felons in Virgina, who had completed their sentence, the right to vote.&nbsp; We previously wrote about this order <a href="">here</a>.&nbsp; <strong>Hillary Clinton, a long-time friend of Governor McAuliffe, was quick to express her approval of the executive order over twitter:</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Proud of my friend <a href="">@GovernorVA</a> for continuing to break down barriers to voting. -H <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) <a href="">April 22, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>That said, <strong>Virginia's Supreme Court recently reversed McAuliffe's executive order asserting that he had overstepped his authority</strong> to grant a blanket restoration of voting rights to all felons simultaneously.&nbsp; Instead, the <strong>Supreme Court ruled that McAuliffe could only restore voting rights to each felon individually, a task that he vowed to start right away</strong>.&nbsp; We have no doubt that Governor McAuliffe's office will spend every resource necessary to, in fact, accomplish that goal.</p> <p>We have written about McAuliffe multiple times over the past couple of months including <a href="">here</a> and <a href="">here</a>.&nbsp; That said, we've included below a brief summary of his checkered history and deep connection with the Clinton family.</p> <p>McAuliffe is a <strong>long-time Clinton confidant currently embrioled in a federal investigation surrounding certain questionable contributions from Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang</strong>.&nbsp; As <a href="">CNN </a>recently reported:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>McAuliffe is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and prosecutors from the Justice Department's public integrity unit [that] are thrusting him back into the spotlight. U.S. officials briefed on the probe say the investigation dates to at least last year and has focused, at least in part, on whether donations to his gubernatorial campaign violated the law, the officials said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Authorities are looking into $120,000 in donations Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang gave to McAuliffe through his American business. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Foreign nationals are not allowed to donate to any American political campaign.&nbsp; But McAuliffe said Wenliang holds a green card, which would make him eligible to make such contributions.</p> </blockquote> <p>If there is any question as to where McAuliffe's loyalties lie, and by extension what his motivations were in signing this executive order, we would encourage you to take a look at this <a href="">CNN article</a> from May 2016.&nbsp; CNN notes that <strong>McAuliffe often refers to Bill Clinton as his "best friend"</strong> and says that he was handpicked by the former President to be his chair of the Democratic National Committee.&nbsp;&nbsp; CNN goes on to point out:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The <strong>Clinton family played a big role in helping build McAuliffe's political profile in Virginia</strong>. He initially ran for governor in 2009, despite spending very little time working with Virginia Democrats and<br /> after flirting with runs for governor in both Florida and New York.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Former President Clinton made several campaign appearances for his friend</strong> in the run-up to the 2009 primary...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...<strong>the ties between the McAuliffe campaign of 2013 and the Clinton campaign of 2016 are extensive</strong>. Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook ran McAuliffe's successful campaign for governor. The attorney representing McAuliffe in this matter [FBI investigation], Mark Elias, is also an attorney for the Clinton campaign. There are also several staffers on many levels working for Clinton that played key roles in the governor's 2013 race.</p> </blockquote> <p>Finally, McAuliffe was quoted by CNN as saying:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>"<strong>The thing I do every day to try and be the most helpful to Hillary Clinton is be a successful governor ... I'm governor now. I'm not her campaign chairman anymore, I am the governor of the commonwealth and that's what I spend my time doing.</strong>"</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Technically, the absolute best thing you could do for Hillary Clinton would be to use her clout to get yourself elected governor of a critical swing state and then use your executive power in that state to sign sweeping changes to voting laws to help elect Hillary Preident...but we don't like to split hairs.</strong></p> <script src="//"></script> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="228" height="202" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> FBI Florida Twitter Twitter Wed, 27 Jul 2016 03:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567315 at Judge Rules Bitcoin Isn't Money Because It "Can't be Hidden Under A Mattress" <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Everett Numbers via,</em></a></p> <p>In a landmark decision, a Florida judge <strong>dismissed charges of money laundering against a Bitcoin seller</strong> on Monday following expert testimony showing state<strong> law did not apply to the cryptocurrency</strong>.</p> <p>Michell Espinoza was <a href="" target="_blank">charged</a> with three felony charges related to money laundering in 2014, but what appears to have helped to clear him of any and all wrongdoing was testimony given just a few weeks ago by an economics professor.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;This is the most fascinating thing I&rsquo;ve heard in this courtroom in a long time,&rdquo;</em> Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler said after hearing Barry University professor Charles Evans present evidence during a May hearing that<strong> Bitcoin was more akin to<em>&ldquo;poker chips that people are willing to buy from you,&rdquo;</em> </strong><a href="" target="_blank">according</a> to the<em>Miami Herald</em>.</p> </blockquote> <p>Evans was given $3,000 in Bitcoin by defense attorneys for sharing his expertise, the newspaper&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">reported</a>.</p> <p>Judge Pooler found the cryptocurrency, which is based on verified encrypted transactions that are recorded on a public ledger,<u><strong> did not constitute <em>&ldquo;tangible wealth&rdquo;</em> and<em>&ldquo;cannot be hidden under a mattress like cash and gold bars,&rdquo;&nbsp;</em></strong></u>reported the <em>Herald</em>.</p> <p>Pooler added that Bitcoin was not codified by government, nor backed by any bank.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>&ldquo;The court is not an expert in economics, however, it is very clear, even to someone with limited knowledge in the area, the Bitcoin has a long way to go before it the equivalent of money,&rdquo;</em> P</strong>ooler wrote in her decision.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;This court is <strong>unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another, </strong>when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning,&rdquo;</em> she added.</p> </blockquote> <p>Espinoza, 33, was charged after undercover detectives bought $1,500 worth of Bitcoin from him, claiming they would use the currency to purchase stolen credit card numbers. However, Judge Pooler found the Florida law prosecutors based their case upon to be too <em>&ldquo;vague.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Another man, Pascal Reid, was arrested in tandem with Espinoza. Reid took an early plea deal, pleading guilty to acting as an unlicensed money broker. The deal required him to serve a probation sentence and educate law enforcement on the workings of Bitcoin.</p> <p><u><strong>While Monday&rsquo;s ruling comes as a relief to Espinoza, it remains to be seen what comes next in Bitcoin regulation.</strong></u> States continue to <a href="" target="_blank">grapple with the issue</a>, and at the federal level, regulation has <a href="" target="_blank">stalled</a>. &nbsp;<strong><em>But Bitcoin enthusiasts have recently been more optimistic about a <a href="" target="_blank">price surge</a>, so the powers that be may move quickly if the virtual currency&rsquo;s popularity resurges.</em></strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="295" height="148" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bitcoin Florida Newspaper Testimony Wed, 27 Jul 2016 02:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567334 at New Legislation Proposes To "Bail-In' Social Security <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Simon Black via,</em></a></p> <p>It was only a few weeks ago that I told you about the <a href="">government&rsquo;s annual report on Social Security</a>.</p> <p><strong>It was a veritable death sentence for the program.</strong></p> <p>The Board of Trustees for Social Security (which includes the US Treasury Secretary) wrote that major parts of the program have already run out of money, and the rest of Social Security will run out of money in the next decade.</p> <p>Amazing. <u><strong>Even Social Security knows that they&rsquo;re bankrupt and unable to keep their promises to taxpayers.</strong></u></p> <p>This is going to cause an unbelievable crisis in the United States.</p> <p>Think about it: <strong><em>half of Americans have ZERO retirement savings and will be fully dependent on the Social Security once they retire.</em></strong></p> <p>But by the time their retirement comes, the program will have likely already run out of money.</p> <p><u><strong>Well, the government has figured out a solution. And it&rsquo;s genius.</strong></u></p> <p>Two weeks ago a new bill was introduced on the floor of Congress that, just like all the other really dangerous legislation, i.e. USA PATRIOT Act, this bill has a catchy acronym.</p> <p><strong><em>It&rsquo;s called the SAVE UP Accounts Act, which stands for. . .</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em>. . . &ldquo;Secure, Accessible, Valuable, Efficient Universal Pension Accounts Act&rdquo;.</em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>I just tasted vomit in my mouth.</strong></u></p> <p>In short,<u><em><strong> SAVE UP mandates certain employers and businesses in the United States, including many small businesses, to start contributing a fixed amount of money per employee into a brand new national retirement fund</strong></em></u>.</p> <p>Based on the contribution requirements and the average wage in the United States (about $50,000 annually), the bill is slapping a 2% wage tax on employers.</p> <p><strong><em>Funny thing, employers are already paying 6.2% to Social Security.</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em>So an additional 2% tax effectively constitutes a 32% proportional increase.</em></strong></p> <p>This idea is such a classic example of government thinking.</p> <p>Social Security is failing and will be unable to keep its promises to taxpayers in the next decade.</p> <p>So there&rsquo;s a pretty convincing track record suggesting that government-managed retirement funds are a very bad idea.</p> <p>And yet the best solution these people can come up with is to raise your taxes, steal more money, and establish a brand new government-run retirement fund.</p> <p>Their logic is unbelievable: <u><em><strong>&ldquo;If at first you don&rsquo;t succeed, keep trying the same loser tactics.&rdquo;</strong></em></u></p> <p><strong>Sadly, SAVE UP is not isolated.</strong></p> <p>A similar bill was introduced in the US Senate a few months ago.</p> <p><strong>The Senate version aims to create an &ldquo;American Savings Account&rdquo;, i.e. another national retirement fund to be managed by the government.</strong></p> <p><strong>Then, of course, there&rsquo;s President Obama&rsquo;s &ldquo;MyRA&rdquo; program,</strong> where workers contribute a portion of their paychecks to a retirement account managed by the federal government.</p> <p>And MyRA has already been launched.</p> <p><em>(The SAVE UP bill, by the way, could also make it mandatory for a business to sign up all of its employees for a government MyRA account.)</em></p> <p><u><strong>The trend here is pretty clear.</strong></u></p> <p>Social Security is rapidly running out of cash, and they&rsquo;re <strong>solving the problem by having American citizens and businesses essentially &ldquo;bail in&rdquo; the program with higher taxes and more contributions to government retirement funds.</strong></p> <p>And this is just what&rsquo;s happening right now, at a time when very few people are paying attention to the problem.</p> <p>Just imagine how much more they&rsquo;re going to steal once the looming Social Security bankruptcy becomes front-page news in a few years.</p> <p>Right now time is on your side. They&rsquo;re not going to unveil any hideous new program tomorrow morning.</p> <p><strong>But there are two key lessons to take away here:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>1) It&rsquo;s imperative to consider these long-term &ldquo;bail-in&rdquo; implications and structure yourself accordingly.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The more assets you keep within a bankrupt government&rsquo;s jurisdiction, the more likely you are to become a victim of future taxation and confiscation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2) You absolutely cannot depend on the government for your retirement.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These programs are going broke. That is not a sensational statement. It is a direct representation of the facts as they have been laid out by the Treasury Secretary of the United States.</p> </blockquote> <p>Again, time is on your side.</p> <p>If you invest it wisely, you can develop the skills to supplement your income in retirement (for example, how to generate extra income online), and how to manage your finances to generate higher returns while taking less risk.</p> <p><a href=""><em><u><strong>Education is the greatest tool we have to solve this retirement problem&hellip; as long as you start early.</strong></u></em></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="484" height="285" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> fixed President Obama Wed, 27 Jul 2016 02:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 567288 at