en Paper Gold Is Rising, Report 1 May, 2016 <p>The price of gold shot up over $60 this week. The price of silver moved up proportionally, gaining over $0.85. The mood is now palpable. The feeling in the air is that of long suffering suddenly turned to optimism. Big <em>gains</em>, if not the collapse of the <em>price-suppression cartel</em>, are now inevitable.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">The headlines and articles, screaming for gold to hit $10,000 to $50,000, are pervasive. Today we won’t dwell on our favorite point that if the price of gold hits $50,000 then that means the price of the dollar has collapsed. If you own an ounce of gold, then you may have a lot more dollars. But unfortunately, each of those dollars is worth a lot less.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Today, we want to look at this new alleged precious metals </span><em style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">bull market</em><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">. Does it have legs? Are we likely to see silver hit $20, much less $1,000? We will support our analysis with a new graph to show the big picture.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Let’s look at the only true picture of supply and demand fundamentals. But first, here’s the graph of the metals’ prices.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The Prices of Gold and Silver<br /><img src="" alt="Prices" title="Prices" width="1064" height="365" /><br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Next, this is a graph of the gold price measured in silver, otherwise known as the gold to silver ratio. The ratio was down slightly this week.</span><em style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">&nbsp;</em></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">The Ratio of the Gold Price to the Silver Price<br /><img src="" alt="ratio" title="ratio" width="1016" height="383" /><br /></span></p> <p><em>For each metal, we will look at a graph of the basis and cobasis overlaid with the price of the dollar in terms of the respective metal. It will make it easier to provide brief commentary. The dollar will be represented in green, the basis in blue and cobasis in red.</em></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Here is the gold graph.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The Gold Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price<br /><img src="" alt="gold" title="gold" width="1025" height="348" /><br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">We actually had to expand the range of both axes. The price of the dollar fell off the bottom, currently about 24mg. The cobasis (which is our measure of the scarcity of gold) also fell off the bottom, while the basis (which is our measure of abundance) rose above the top.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">As the price of gold continues to rise, it becomes more abundant. Indeed, we can hardly say “scarcity” any more with a cobasis below -1%.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Look, the supply and demand fundamentals could change at any time. However, as of this moment, the picture painted by the basis is not $10,000 or $50,000. It’s more like $1,235. More on this below.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">First let’s turn to silver.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">The Silver Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price<br /><img src="" alt="silver" title="silver" width="936" height="346" /><br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">The first thing you’ll notice is that the red cobasis line (i.e. scarcity) has not been falling to match the falling price of the dollar measured in silver (i.e. rising price of silver, measured in dollars) the way it has in the gold chart above. However, two factors mitigate this. One, the silver cobasis is much lower on an absolute basis (no pun intended). In gold, the cobasis is -1.1%, whereas for silver it’s -1.4%.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Two, silver has a much stronger tendency to a falling basis and rising cobasis as each contract nears expiration. In times of greater scarcity, it causes </span><em style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">temporary backwardation</em><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">—each contract tips into backwardation before it goes off the board. This phenomenon begins to distort the silver chart much farther out than in gold, and to a greater (numerical) degree. It has already taken hold in the July silver contract.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">This segues into our next chart, a view new to this Report. We show the August and December gold contracts and the September and December silver contracts. Just the basis only, to make the chart easier to read.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">The Gold and Silver Basis with LIBOR<br /><img src="" alt="bases with LIBOR" title="bases with LIBOR" width="915" height="446" /><br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">You can see another aspect of our previous point. Even this far out, the silver contracts show more volatility than gold. And the two different months deviate from one another more than in gold.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Note the strong rising trend starting around mid-January.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">So what is this showing, really? The basis is the real-world profit you would make to </span><em style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">carry</em><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;"> metal. Suppose you buy a bar of metal and </span><strong style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">simultaneously</strong><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;"> sell a futures contract, storing the metal in the meantime. You pocket the carry spread. If we quote it in terms of dollars, it’s about 14 cents for December silver. We quote it as an annualized percentage, so that you can easily compare it to other investments (more on this in a moment).</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">The trend for the past few months is that carrying is more and more profitable. What does that tell us? It means that more and more firms will enter the carry trade. A profit attracts people, for some odd reason or another having to do with wanting to make money or something…</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Anyways, we know that more market participants are carrying metal because it’s more profitable than it was. Whatever number of people wanted to do it when the profit was 7 cents, we know that more will do it for 14.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">What is this telling us about the state of the market for metal? If more and more metal is going into carry trades, then the marginal buyer of metal is this trader who carries metal—whom we often call the </span><em style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">warehouseman</em><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">. </span><strong style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">The marginal demand for metal is to be carried.</strong><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;"> This is a dangerous state, because when it flips around, then this marginal demand disappears and then the marginal supply of metal is coming out of carry trades. This is hardly the picture of a shortage driving a durable bull market.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">We included two different LIBOR rates on the chart. It’s interesting to compare the basis to LIBOR. Now, in gold, carrying is about the same as 6-month LIBOR. In silver, the return is above that, and at one point got above 12-month LIBOR.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">We have one final point. These traders are carrying metal to earn a small spread, with no price exposure. They are </span><em style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">arbitragers</em><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">. The activity of the arbitrageur always causes compression of the spread from which he is profiting. In this case, the carry trade involves buying metal in the spot market and selling it in the futures market. This tends to push up the price of spot metal and pull down the price of futures contracts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">So we have a growing group that’s pushing to compress the basis spread—basis is futures minus spot. Yet the basis is widening despite that. What could cause something to rise, when there’s a powerful and growing force trying to make it fall? What is the even-bigger force at work here?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">It is the fast and furious buying of speculators, who bid up futures contracts on leverage. Paper gold is rising, and it’s pulling up gold metal. Paper silver is rising, and it’s pulling up silver metal.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">For now.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>© 2016 <a href="">Monetary Metals</a></p> Backwardation Carry Trade Futures market headlines LIBOR Precious Metals Volatility Mon, 02 May 2016 05:28:32 +0000 Monetary Metals 530230 at Seymour Hersh Says Hillary Approved Sending Libya's Sarin To Syrian Rebels <p><em><a href="">Authored by Eric Zuesse via,</a></em></p> <p>The great investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, in two previous articles in the&nbsp;London Review of Books&nbsp;<em>(<a href="" target="_blank">&quot;Whose Sarin?&quot;</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">&quot;The Red Line and the Rat Line&quot;</a>)</em> has reported that <strong>the Obama Administration falsely blamed the government of Syria&rsquo;s Bashar al-Assad for the sarin gas attack that Obama was trying to use as an excuse to invade Syria</strong>; and Hersh pointed to a report from British intelligence saying that the sarin that was used didn&rsquo;t come from Assad&rsquo;s stockpiles. Hersh also said that a secret agreement in 2012 was reached between the Obama Administration and the leaders of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, to set up a sarin gas attack and blame it on Assad so that the US could invade and overthrow Assad.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi&rsquo;s arsenals into Syria.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Hersh didn&rsquo;t say whether these &#39;arms&#39; included the precursor chemicals for making sarin which were stockpiled in Libya, but there&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">have</a>&nbsp;been&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">multiple</a>&nbsp;independent&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">reports</a>&nbsp;that Libya&rsquo;s Gaddafi possessed such stockpiles, and also that<strong> the US Consulate in Benghazi Libya was operating a &quot;rat line&quot; for Gaddafi&rsquo;s captured weapons into Syria through Turkey. </strong>So, Hersh isn&rsquo;t the only reporter who has been covering this. Indeed, the investigative journalist Christoph Lehmann&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">headlined</a>&nbsp;on 7 October 2013, &quot;Top US and Saudi Officials responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria&quot; and reported, on the basis of very different sources than Hersh used, that:</p> <p><em><strong>&quot;Evidence leads directly to the White House, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, CIA Director John Brennan, Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar, and Saudi Arabia&acute;s Interior Ministry.&quot;</strong></em></p> <p>And, as if that weren&rsquo;t enough, even the definitive analysis of the evidence that was performed by two leading US analysts, the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Lloyd-Postal report</a>, concluded that:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;The US Government&rsquo;s Interpretation of the Technical Intelligence It Gathered Prior to and After the August 21 Attack CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT.&quot; </strong></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Obama has clearly been lying.</strong></span></p> <p><u><strong>However, now, for the first time, Hersh has implicated Hillary Clinton directly in this &#39;rat line&#39;. </strong></u>In an&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">interview</a>&nbsp;with&nbsp;, Hersh was asked about the then-US-Secretary-of-State&rsquo;s role in the Benghazi Libya US consulate&rsquo;s operation to collect weapons from Libyan stockpiles and send them through Turkey into Syria for a set-up sarin-gas attack, to be blamed on Assad in order to &lsquo;justify&rsquo; the US invading Syria, as the US had invaded Libya to eliminate Gaddafi. Hersh said:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;<strong>That ambassador who was killed</strong>, he was known as a guy, from what I understand, as somebody, who would not get in the way of the CIA. As I wrote, on the day of the mission he<strong> was meeting with the CIA base chief and the shipping company.</strong> He was certainly involved, aware and witting of everything that was going on. And there&rsquo;s no way somebody in that sensitive of a position is not talking to the boss, by some channel&quot;.</p> </blockquote> <p>This was, in fact, the Syrian part of the State Department&rsquo;s Libyan operation, Obama&rsquo;s operation to set up an excuse for the US doing in Syria what they had&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">already done</a>&nbsp;in Libya.</p> <p>The interviewer then asked:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;In the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">book</a>&nbsp;[Hersh&rsquo;s&nbsp;The Killing of Osama bin Laden, just out]&nbsp;you quote a former intelligence official as saying that the White House rejected 35 target sets&nbsp;[for the planned US invasion of Syria]&nbsp;provided by the Joint Chiefs as being insufficiently painful to the Assad regime. (You note that the original targets included military sites only &ndash; nothing by way of civilian infrastructure.) Later the White House proposed a target list that included civilian infrastructure. What would the toll to civilians have been if the White House&rsquo;s proposed strike had been carried out?&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Hersh responded by saying that the US tradition in that regard has long been to ignore civilian casualties;</strong> i.e., collateral damage of US attacks is okay or even desired (so as to terrorize the population into surrender) &ndash; not an &lsquo;issue&rsquo;, except, perhaps, for the PR people.</p> <p>The interviewer asked why Obama is so obsessed to replace Assad in Syria, since<strong>&nbsp;&quot;The power vacuum that would ensue would open Syria up to all kinds of jihadi groups&quot;</strong>; and Hersh replied that not only he, but the Joint Chiefs of Staff,&nbsp;&quot;nobody could figure out why&quot;.&nbsp;He said,&nbsp;<strong><em>&quot;Our policy has always been against him&nbsp;[Assad]. Period&quot;</em></strong>.&nbsp;This has actually been the case not only since the Party that Assad leads, the Ba&rsquo;ath Party, was the subject of a shelved CIA&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">coup-plot in 1957</a>&nbsp;to overthrow and replace it; but, actually, <strong>the CIA&rsquo;s first coup had been not just planned but&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">was carried out in 1949</a>&nbsp;in Syria, overthrowing there a democratically elected leader, in order to enable a pipeline for the Sauds&rsquo; oil to become built through Syria into the largest oil market, Europe; and, construction of the pipeline started the following year.</strong> But, there were then a succession of Syrian coups (domestic instead of by foreign powers &ndash;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">1954</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">1963</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">1966</a>, and, finally, in&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">1970</a>), concluding in the accession to power of Hafez al-Assad during the 1970 coup. <strong><u>And, the Sauds&#39; long-planned&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Trans-Arabia Pipeline</a>&nbsp;has&nbsp;still&nbsp;not been built.</u></strong> The Saudi royal family, who own the world&rsquo;s largest oil company, Aramco, don&rsquo;t want to wait any longer. Obama is the first US President to have seriously tried to carry out their long-desired &quot;regime change&quot; in Syria, so as to enable not only the Sauds&rsquo; Trans-Arabian Pipeline to&nbsp;be&nbsp;built, but also to build through Syria the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Qatar-Turkey Gas Pipeline</a>&nbsp;that the Thani royal family (friends of the Sauds) who own Qatar want also to be built there.<strong><em> The US is allied with the Saud family (and with their friends, the royal families of Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, and Oman). Russia is allied with the leaders of Syria &ndash; as Russia had earlier been allied with Mossadegh in Iran, Arbenz in Guatemala, Allende in Chile, Hussein in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya, and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Yanukovych in Ukraine</a>&nbsp;(all of whom&nbsp;except&nbsp;Syria&rsquo;s Ba&rsquo;ath Party, the US has successfully overthrown).</em></strong></p> <p>Hersh was wrong to say that&nbsp;&quot;nobody could figure out why&quot;&nbsp;Obama is obsessed with overthrowing Assad and his Ba&rsquo;ath Party, even if nobody that he spoke with was willing to&nbsp;say&nbsp;why. They have all been hired to do a job, which didn&rsquo;t change even when the Soviet Union ended and the Warsaw Pact was disbanded; and, anyone who has been at this job for as long as those people have, can pretty well figure out what the job actually is &ndash; even if Hersh can&rsquo;t.</p> <p><strong>Hersh then said that Obama wanted to fill Syria with foreign jihadists to serve as the necessary ground forces for his planned aerial bombardment there, </strong>and,&nbsp;&quot;if you wanted to go there and fight there in 2011-2013, &lsquo;Go, go, go&hellip; overthrow Bashar!&rsquo; So, they actually pushed a lot of people&nbsp;[jihadists]&nbsp;to go. I don&rsquo;t think they were paying for them but they certainly gave visas&quot;.</p> <p><strong>However, it&rsquo;s not actually part of America&rsquo;s deal with its allies the fundamentalist-Sunni Arabic royal families and the fundamentalist Sunni Erdogan of Turkey, for the US to supply the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">salaries</a>&nbsp;(to be &quot;paying for them&quot;, as Hersh put it there) to those fundamentalist Sunni jihadists &ndash; that&rsquo;s instead the function of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">the Sauds</a>&nbsp;and of their friends,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">the other Arab royals, and their friends</a>, to do.</strong> (Those are the people who finance the terrorists to perpetrate attacks in the US, Europe, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, India, Nigeria, etc. &ndash; i.e., anywhere except in their&nbsp;own&nbsp;countries.) And, Erdogan in Turkey mainly gives their jihadists just safe passage into Syria, and he takes part of the proceeds from the jihadists&rsquo; sales of stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil. But, they all work together as a team (with the jihadists sometimes killing each other in the process &ndash;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">that&rsquo;s even part of the plan</a>) &ndash; though each national leader has PR problems at home in order to fool his respective public into thinking that they&rsquo;re against terrorists, and that only the &lsquo;enemy&rsquo; is to blame. (Meanwhile, the aristocrats who supply the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">&quot;salaries&quot;</a>&nbsp;of the jihadists, walk off with all the money.)</p> <p><u><em><strong>This way, US oil and gas companies will refine, and pipeline into Europe, the Sauds&rsquo; oil and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">the Thanis&rsquo; gas</a>, and not only will Russia&rsquo;s major oil-and-gas market become squeezed away by that, but Obama&rsquo;s economic sanctions against Russia, plus the yet-further isolation of Russia (as well as of China and the rest of the BRICS countries) by&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">excluding them</a>&nbsp;from Obama&rsquo;s three mega-trade-deals (TTIP, TPP &amp; TISA), will place the US aristocracy firmly in control of the world, to dominate the 21st Century, as it has dominated ever since the end of WW II.</strong></em></u></p> <p>Then, came this question from Hersh:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Why does America do what it does? Why do we not say to the Russians, Let&rsquo;s work together?&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>His interviewer immediately seconded that by repeating it,&nbsp;&quot;So why don&rsquo;t we work closer with Russia? It seems so rational&quot;.&nbsp;<strong>Hersh replied simply:&nbsp;&quot;I don&rsquo;t know&quot;.&nbsp;</strong>He didn&rsquo;t venture so much as a guess &ndash; not even an educated one. But, <em><u><strong>when journalists who are as knowledgeable as he, don&rsquo;t present some credible explanation, to challenge the obvious lies (which make no sense that accords with the blatantly contrary evidence those journalists know of against those lies) that come from people such as Barack Obama, aren&rsquo;t they thereby &ndash; though passively &ndash;&nbsp;participating in the fraud, instead of contradicting and challenging it?</strong></u></em> Or, is the underlying assumption, there: The general public is going to be as deeply immersed in the background information here as I am, so that they don&rsquo;t need me to bring it all together for them into a coherent (and fully documented) whole, which&nbsp;does&nbsp;make sense? Is&nbsp;that&nbsp;the underlying assumption? Because: if it is, it&rsquo;s&nbsp;false.</p> <p><em>Hersh&rsquo;s journalism is among the best (after all: he went so far as to say, of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Christopher Stephens</a>, regarding Hillary Clinton,&nbsp;&quot;there&rsquo;s no way somebody in that sensitive of a position is not talking to the boss, by some channel&quot;), but it&rsquo;s certainly&nbsp;not good enough. However, it&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">too good to be published</a>&nbsp;any longer in places like the&nbsp;New Yorker. And the reporting by&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Christof Lehmann</a>&nbsp;was better, and it was issued even earlier than Hersh&rsquo;s; and it&nbsp;is&nbsp;good enough, because it named names, and it explained motivations, in an honest and forthright way, which is why&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Lehmann&rsquo;s piece</a>&nbsp;was published only on a Montenegrin site, and only online, not in a Western print medium, such as the&nbsp;New Yorker. <strong>The sites that are owned by members of the Western aristocracy don&rsquo;t issue reports like that &ndash; journalism that&rsquo;s&nbsp;good enough. They won&rsquo;t inform the public when a US Secretary of State, and her boss the US President, are the persons actually behind a sarin gas attack they&rsquo;re blaming on a foreign leader the US aristocrats and their allied foreign aristocrats are determined to topple and replace.</strong></em></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Is this&nbsp;really&nbsp;a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">democracy</a>?</strong></span></em></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="457" height="286" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Barack Obama BRICs China ETC India Iran Iraq Kuwait Obama Administration Saudi Arabia Turkey Ukraine White House Mon, 02 May 2016 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530215 at British "Spies" Among Thousands Of names Exposed Following Massive Leak At Largest Mid-East Bank <p>The Panama Papers leak was for appetizers. The real leak, one which took place quietly and under the radar a few days ago, and may have exposed far more wealthy and important individuals, was that of the Qatar National Bank - the Middle East's largest lender by assets - where a massive 1.5 GB data dump posted online last week exposed the personal data of thousands of clients.</p> <p>According to <a href="">IBT</a>, the massive data dump appears to contain hundreds of thousands of records including customer transaction logs, personal identification numbers and credit card data. <strong>Additionally, dozens of separate folders consist of information on everything from Al Jazeera journalists to what appears to be the Al-Thani Qatar Royal Family and even contains a slew of records listed as Ministry of Defence, MI6 (the UK foreign intelligence service) and Qatar's State Security Bureau, also known as "Mukhabarat".<br /></strong></p> <p>The bank told Reuters it had taken immediate steps to ensure customers would not suffer any financial loss after the security breach although it was not clear how the bank planned to protect accounts whose details, including customer names and passwords, have already been published. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="377" /></a></p> <p>"We are taking every measure to protect the privacy of our customers and have engaged an external third party expert to review all our systems to ensure no vulnerabilities exist," the bank said in a statement on Sunday. "All our customers’ accounts are secure." </p> <p>Except, of course, all those thousands whose data is already in the public domain. </p> <p>According to Reuters, the 1.5GB trove of leaked documents posted online included the bank details, telephone numbers and dates of birth of several journalists for satellite broadcaster Al-Jazeera, supposed members of the ruling al-Thani family and government and defense officials. </p> <p>Some files had pictures of account holders from Facebook and LinkedIn, a potentially sensitive issue in a conservative country where privacy is valued. </p> <p>The bank said the breach was an attack on its reputation, rather than specifically targeted at the customers, and only involved a portion of Qatar based customers. </p> <p>The statement did not mention the identity of the hackers. </p> <p>QNB said some of the data released may be accurate but much of it was constructed and "contains a mixture of information from the attack as well as other non-QNB sources, such as personal data from social media channels." Which is merely another word for damage control. </p> <p>A copy of the leaked content seen by Reuters contained transaction data of QNB customers that showed overseas remittance data from as recently as September 2015. One file had information on what appeared to be 465,437 QNB accounts, although only a fraction of these accounts had anything resembling full account details. </p> <p>Several known Qatari figures in the government and media whose names appeared on the list confirmed to Reuters that their account details were accurate.&nbsp; Middle Eastern banks are attractive targets for cyber criminals because of the high levels of wealth in the oil-rich region. Qatar is the wealthiest country in the world on a per-capita basis, according to the World Bank. </p> <p>As <a href="">Security Affairs reports</a>, "one researcher, speaking on condition of anonymity, also confirmed that he had successfully used leaked customer internet banking credentials from the data dump to begin logging in to the customer’s account, purely for research purposes. But he said the bank’s systems then sent a one-time password to the customer’s registered mobile number, which would serve as a defense against any criminals who might now attempt to use the leaked data to commit fraud."</p> <p>But perhaps the most notable information contained in the leak a folder listed as "SPY, Intelligence" that quickly catches the eye. As IBT wrties, it contains a slew of records listed as <strong>Ministry of Defence, MI6 (the UK foreign intelligence service) and Qatar's State Security Bureau, also known as "Mukhabarat".</strong></p> <p><img src=";resize=800%2C494" alt="Qatar National Bank QNB data leak" width="600" height="371" class="wp-image-46765 size-full" /></p> <p>The MI6 file, which sits alongside similar documents reportedly from Polish and French intelligence, opens up an in-depth report on an alleged agent. This includes names of close relations, phone numbers, social media accounts and credit card data. Furthermore, in one instance, a file marked "wife", opens a photo showing a woman and two children. There are roughly a dozen of these intelligence dossiers included in the Qatar data dump. </p> <p>As noted above, the alleged banking leak also openly lists a folder marked "Al Jazeera" that stores nearly 30 separate profiles alongside an Microsoft Excel file that holds more than 1,200 records – including national ID numbers, telephone numbers and home addresses. Much like the intelligence files, the Al Jazeera disclosure contains a number of entries labelled "SPY" and also includes images of the person alongside social accounts, banking data and passwords.</p> <p>The massive leak was initially uploaded at however was quickly removed without explanation. Then, the website Cryptome mirrored the entire data dump in an easily-accessible format.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">1/2 As <a href="">@aljazeera______</a> tweeted, Qatar National Bank hacked. 15,460 files 100Ks accounts, pwds, PINs, "Spies" <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Cryptome (@Cryptomeorg) <a href="">April 25, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">2/2 QNB hack: 15.4K docs, 1.4GB, most tiny, dozens big. Zip (431MB): <a href=""></a> (RU?) /<a href="">@aljazeera______</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Cryptome (@Cryptomeorg) <a href="">April 25, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">If the QNB hack <a href=""></a> site goes down, we'll offer the Zip. Unless irresistably bribed to dribble, redact and talk big.</p> <p>— Cryptome (@Cryptomeorg) <a href="">April 25, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After analysing the data Simon Edwards, cybersecurity expert with Trend Micro, told IBT that "the breach seems to be a classic attack on a bank, with the majority of data leaked online exposing customers' bank account details, such as account numbers, credit cards and addresses.</p> <p>"There's also a lot of information on banking transactions, suggesting that the perpetrators were trying to expose specific transactions. This theory can be further strengthened by the hacker's attempts to profile the bank's customers into different categories, mostly focusing on Qatar's TV network along with other foreign agencies, <strong>some of which are categorised as 'spies'."</strong> </p> <p>He added: "Interestingly, there is also additional data about mainly foreign bank account holders, which includes information such as their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, along with 'friends' associated through those social networks. This data doesn't appear to have come directly from the bank itself, rather the perpetrator used the data held by the bank to then build up profiles of further targets."</p> <p>Unlike the Panama Papers which were greeted to resounding global media fanfare, virtually no outlets have reported on the Qatar bank's hack, which suggests to us that the data contained there is much more relevant and sensitive, and public attention will be diverted at all costs. </p> <p>We are currently going through the source data.</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="494" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Reuters SPY Twitter Twitter World Bank Mon, 02 May 2016 01:33:39 +0000 Tyler Durden 530220 at Why So Worried? <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>What a bunch of worry warts. </strong></span></p> <p><a href=""><img height="433" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Just because the Fed and Wall Street have driven<strong> home ownership rates to an all-time low</strong> and increased the number of renters to an all-time high through their warped monetary schemes, while <strong>driving rents up at an annual pace of over 8%, why worry?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Just because your <strong>monthly rent is at an all-time high, </strong>while <strong>real median household income is at the same level it was in 1989</strong>, why worry?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Just because your <strong>healthcare costs are rising at an annual rate of 10% or more</strong>, why worry about making your rent payment?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Just because you have <strong>$40,000 of student loan debt and a waiter job at Applebees, </strong>why worry about that silly rent payment?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Just because <strong>filling up your leased SUV is 30% more expensive than it was in mid-February</strong>, why worry about rent?</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Don&rsquo;t worry, be happy.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><em>Via Jim Quinn&#39;s Burning Platform blog</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="702" height="507" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 02 May 2016 01:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530212 at You're Next! <p>...and now the fun really begins...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="541" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>Source: Ben Garrison</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="860" height="776" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 02 May 2016 00:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530211 at "Get Out Traitor" - German Justice Minister Flees In Armored Mercedes After Angry Protesters Boo Him Offstage <p>Heiko Maas, the German Minister of Justice, was unable to finish his Labor Day celebration speech on the 1st of May as he was loudly booed and chased off the stage by the German people. The people repeatedly shouted "traitor", "leftist rat", "get out!", "we are the people" and "Maas must go!", eventually getting him to cancel his speech and flee to his armored Mercedes escorted by his armed bodyguards.</p> <p>Maas is considered one of the biggest proponents of expanding censorship laws, demanding persecution, fines and jail-time for everybody posting "hate speech" on social media. Recently his party suffered a devastating loss in polls across the country, losing to the Alternative for Germany (AfD) by a landslide in the last state election of Saxony, where he held his speech.</p> <p>In his speech he claimed that "the people shouting 'traitor' don't even know what's happening to them." Many of the same people would disagree.&nbsp; According to vidmax "the German people are confused and angry about why they're told that they have to be frugal and avoid having children because of the immense cost while simultaneously working their fingers to the bones to fund a foreign invasion."</p> <p>Those in the audience in the audience ridiculed Maas for claiming that actual workers in the audience "hijack Labor Day." He was ultimately chased offstage for what people in the audience said was the hypocrisy of celebrating Labor and fair wages while his party supports the import of millions of unskilled workers. </p> <p>The booing public ultimately forced him to end his speech early; he was then forced into his armored Mercedes at which point he quickly fled.</p> <p>Perhaps not surprisingly this took place just hours after Germany's ascendant <a href="">right-wing AfD party adopted an anti-Islam manifesto, </a>according to which Muslims are no longer welcome in Germany. </p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></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="1014" height="671" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Germany Mon, 02 May 2016 00:40:22 +0000 Tyler Durden 530216 at Deutsche Bank Unveils The Next Step: "QE Has Run Its Course, It's Time To Tax Wealth" <p>Helicopter money may be on the horizon, but if Deutsche Bank has its way, there is at least one intermediate step. </p> <p>According to DB's Dominic Konstam, now that the benefits QE "have run their course", it is time for the next, and far more drastic step: "<strong>the ECB and BoJ should move more strongly toward penalizing savings via negative retail deposit rates or perhaps wealth taxes. With this stick would also come a carrot – for example, negative mortgage rates</strong>."</p> <p>Here is the big picture unveiling of what is coming next from Deutsche Bank's Dominic Konstam, who is also buying the Treasury long end hand over fist: </p> <ul> <li>The G3 central banks all stood pat, continuing the move away from the beggar-thy-neighbor paradigm. However, the adverse market reaction to the BoJ’s inaction suggests that the benefits of QE (or QQE) in its present form might have run their course.</li> <li><strong>It is becoming increasingly clear to us that the level of yields at which credit expansion in Europe and Japan will pick up in earnest is probably negative, and substantially so. Therefore, the ECB and BoJ should move more strongly toward penalizing savings via negative retail deposit rates or perhaps wealth taxes. With this stick would also come a carrot – for example, negative mortgage rates.</strong></li> <li>Until then, bank NIM compression will continue to drive elevated demand for dollar-denominated assets, which manifests itself in suppressed UST term premia and wide cross-currency bases.</li> <li>What this means for the US is that policy rates and longer bond yields are unlikely to go up until global growth accelerates materially. Until such time, it is critical for the Fed to continue to relent, allowing real yields to keep falling while breakevens rise and nominal yields remain roughly static.</li> <li>If the Fed were to turn hawkish, there is perhaps even less scope for long-end yields to rise as breakevens would likely collapse on policy error fears.</li> </ul> <p>Some of the troubling detail: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>QE as implemented in major economies since the crisis has operated through two shocks: a demand shock whereby real yields are forced lower through lower nominal yields and static – or even falling – breakevens, and a shock to inflation expectations, whereby real yields ultimately continue to fall but due to rising BEI and static to lower nominal yields. In the case of the Anglo-Saxon economies, the demand shock quickly gave way to the shock (higher) to inflation expectations and actually allowed nominal yields to rise, if fleetingly. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The second shock, to inflation expectations, has thus far remained stubbornly elusive in Europe and more so in Japan, and ephemeral in the Anglo-Saxon economies. That said, this dynamic appears to have re-emerged in the US post Fed relent and has been an important driver of the recovery in risk assets and, more generally, the easing of financial conditions. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This week’s BoJ announcement disappointed, and as a result the yen appreciated sharply. This outcome does not bode well for the future efficacy of QE, at least while that is the primary policy tool in use. Breakevens have been drifting lower and real yields have been drifting higher since last summer. In other words, financial conditions in Japan are tightening, suggesting the need for more stimulus. However, the BoJ already holds a significant proportion of the assets that would be available for purchase, and the gains from additional QE activity – higher breakevens, lower real yields, and a weaker yen – are likely on the margin to be fleeting. It appears that the markets doubt the BoJ’s willingness or ability to carry on with larger and broader asset purchases, or worse yet they do not believe that such asset purchases will have their desired stimulative effect </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Further QE should be viewed as an experiment in real time, where the point of inquiry is the level of real or nominal yields at which credit will begin to expand more strongly with loan-to-deposit ratios increasing. <strong>What seems increasingly clear to us is that this level is likely at negative yields, and probably substantially so. If this is true, it would suggest to us that the equilibrium level of rates in the economy is probably negative. This in turn would strongly suggest a significant re-think to short-rate policy. In this case, central banks should move more strongly toward penalizing savings, rather than just the institutions that “house” those savings – the banks. This would mean allowing significantly negative retail deposit rates or perhaps even wealth taxes. With this stick would also come a carrot – one example being that while deposit rates penalize savings (the whole point), banks might also pay borrowers to buy houses via negative mortgage rates. </strong></p> </blockquote> <p>In short, the real central bank panic is about to be unleashed; who will suffer? Why everyone else. And should wealth taxes really be imminent, we foresee a lot of "boating incidents" in the immediate future.</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="135" height="90" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond Central Banks Deutsche Bank Japan NIM recovery Yen Mon, 02 May 2016 00:32:19 +0000 Tyler Durden 530143 at Iraqi Oil & The 'Strange' Death of Mr. Abadi <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk via</em></a>,</p> <p><strong>As expected, PM Abadi was always going to come off worse in his last ditch attempt to try and regain some kind of political initiative by appointing a new look &lsquo;technocratic&rsquo; government in Baghdad. </strong>But the ailing Prime Minister has managed to back himself into a particularly tight corner after being outplayed by Muqtada al Sadr, Iyad Allawi and even Nouri Al Maliki. Rather than sticking to his &lsquo;technocratic guns&rsquo; Abadi blinked first on cabinet changes, by allowing more traditional &lsquo;muhasasa&rsquo; (i.e. quota based) politics to play through, falling back on the so called &lsquo;three presidencies&rsquo; agreement between himself, President Fuad Masum, and parliamentary speaker, Salim al-Jiburi. <strong>The move&rsquo;s since been condemned as protecting &lsquo;establishment&rsquo; interest compared to more &lsquo;comprehensive change&rsquo; that Maliki, Sadr and Allawi are all pitching.</strong></p> <p>For those well versed in Iraqi politics, you&rsquo;ll realise just how perverted that political situation is, but the key point to register is <strong>Mr. Abadi is now a totally lame duck PM.</strong> Whether he can stagger on to 2018 elections looks increasingly unlikely. If anything, the <em>only</em> thing keeping him in post right now is the simple issue that<strong> political factions aren&rsquo;t in a credible position to decide on an instant successor</strong>. That, and the blunt fact that Iran is working behind the scenes to line up a far more &lsquo;client orientated&rsquo; PM next time round at the political level, with exactly the same Persian positioning for the next Grand Ayatollah at the &lsquo;theocratic level&rsquo;.<strong> For better or worse, Abadi is no more than an interim Iranian (and to some extent US) placeholder at this stage.</strong></p> <p>Obviously when we say &lsquo;gamble&rsquo; everything is relative in Iraq.<strong> In reality things had got so bad for Mr. Abadi that he didn&rsquo;t have any choice<em> but</em> to attempt a &lsquo;technocratic coup&rsquo; amid a spate of public protests and simmering intra-Shia rivalries</strong>. That&rsquo;s <em>exactly</em> the same political tiger Mr. Abadi&rsquo;s been riding since 2014 to try and appease popular concerns on basic goods, power, water and jobs on the one hand, all retarded by inter-sectarian, and more notably, intra-sectarian divides in Iraq on the other. That was always a dangerous animal to ride, and especially with the likes of Sadr (Peace Brigades), Hakim (ISCI), Badr and the residual influence of Maliki (Dawa) all poised to go in for the intra-Shia kill as and when the time came. <strong>Unfortunately for Mr. Abadi, the clock has just stopped. </strong>He can&rsquo;t rally support within the State of Law coalition, let alone more discrete ranks of Dawa to his cause at this late technocratic stage. Relations with the Kurds are similarly vexed, where vying factions within the KRG are using Abadi&rsquo;s weakness to progress their own autonomous interests.<strong><em> That&rsquo;s all the way down to operational control of Kirkuk Oil Company, prompting further supply cuts from Baghdad to choke off Northern revenues, and more importantly, keep some notion of a &lsquo;unitary&rsquo; Iraq in place.</em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="Iran and Iraq Oil Production" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-709" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 378px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Needless to say that remains a losing long term battle, but from here, we expect Abadi to face more calls to resign to pave the way for fresh elections.</strong> On balance, those calls will be narrowly dismissed, not because Abadi has any political capital left to appoint a new cabinet, but because a <strong>dearth of consensus over who&rsquo;d replace him.</strong> Iran is more than happy to keep Abadi in post to bring Iraq to its knees, while the <strong>US won&rsquo;t want the horrifying nightmare of orchestrating an Iraqi election before US Presidential elections are out the way</strong>.</p> <p><strong><u>Fall short on the 2018 dates, and you&rsquo;ll merely highlight the ingrained presence ISIS still has in Iraq, amid inexorable state collapse. </u></strong>What we&rsquo;ll see instead is endless political crises, with far greater factionalism, with more violence between and within sectarian groups to protect respective turfs amid ongoing government quota debates, fiscal &lsquo;challenges&rsquo; and opportunistic land grabs, either amongst themselves, or picking up new &lsquo;real estate&rsquo; wherever ISIS sees temporal rolled back. For cynics (aka realists) that pretty much describes what&rsquo;s happening around Abadi anyway, where &lsquo;Popular Mobilisation Units&rsquo; are rapidly morphing into an Iraqi version of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, while Badr and ISCI continue to cement control of Southern production when it comes to military hardware and boots on the Basra / Misan ground. Admittedly not everyone&rsquo;s signed up to <em>every</em> Iranian edict, least of all Mr. Sadr who&rsquo;s keen to carve out some form of &lsquo;local autonomy&rsquo;.</p> <p><strong>But beyond day to day Shia spats, the overall direction of travel remains undeniably Persian in a weakened Iraq. </strong>On that note it&rsquo;s going to be a very long summer for Abadi. Not only does he have to find some way of keeping his notional seat in pernicious Baghdad politics, he has to brace for major bouts of social unrest over failed reforms in the summer blaze when his same &lsquo;political tiger&rsquo; will roar once more. <u><em><strong>Water and electricity will go into short supply, but not as short as Mr. Abadi&rsquo;s political capital. What little he had left, is spent. The strange death of Mr. Abadi has happened.</strong></em></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="708" height="400" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Iran Iraq Real estate Reality Mon, 02 May 2016 00:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530209 at Deutsche Bank Has Systemic Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing And Sanctions Problems: UK Regulator <p>Just two days after Deutsche Bank fired the head of its "integrity committee", Georg Thoma who had been originally tasked with clearing up the bank's past scandals, <a href="">because according to DB's vice chairman Alfred Herling, </a>Thoma had been "overzealous" and "goes too far when he demands ever wider investigations and more and more lawyers come marching up", today the UK financial watchdog agency FCA announced that Germany's biggest bank has "serious" and "systemic" failings in its controls against money laundering, terrorist financing and sanctions, the Financial Times reported. </p> <p>The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has now ordered a separate independent review, the FT reported the letter as saying. The FCA declined to comment. </p> <p>In other words instad of firing it "Chief Ethics Officer" (sic), Deutsche should have ideally hired a few more because as a result of this latest probe it is most likely looking at billions more in settlement charges over the next 6 - 12 months.</p> <p><strong>"Our overall conclusion was that Deutsche Bank UK had serious AML (anti-money laundering), terrorist financing and sanctions failings which were systemic in nature," </strong>the FCA letter, dated March 2, reportedly said.</p> <p>"Effective senior management engagement and leadership on financial crime had been lacking for a considerable period of time." And where there is effective senior management, the board makes sure to get rid of said management, because if it actually followed the law how could this megabank ever make money in Europe's monetary twilight zone.</p> <p>Meanwhile, <a href="">Deutsche Bank said </a>it is cooperating with regulators to fundamentally reform its anti-financial crime program. </p> <p>"We understand the importance of this issue and are committed to and engaged in fixing it", a company spokesman said in an emailed statement on Sunday. </p> <p>This is only the latest brush-up between DB and the FCA: in late 2014, the UK regulator put Deutsche Bank's London office under enhanced supervision owing to concern about the bank's governance and controls. Enhanced supervision procedures are normally kept private and can follow fines. Following its review, <a href="">Reuters reports</a>, the FCA ordered a so-called skilled persons report - also called a Section 166 report - to assess remedial work Deutsche must now carry out. </p> <p>Deutsche Bank's new chief executive, John Cryan, who took over in July, has embarked on a deep restructuring of the bank, which includes an overhaul of governance procedures. </p> <p>Cryan announced in November a review of its know-your-client mechanisms and its vetting procedures when taking on new clients. It has also suspended taking on new customers from 109 countries which it has defined as high risk, compared with 30 countries it had earlier classified as too risky. </p> <p>The report on the FCA letter comes not only days after the abovementioned acrimonious public squabble among members of Deutsche Bank's supervisory board and the ejection of the man heading the supervisory board’s Integrity Committee, but also just weeks after Deutsche became the first bank to settle and admit to charges that it had manipulated the gold market, and had also agreed to expose other gold manipulation cartel members. </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="644" height="406" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Deutsche Bank Reuters Mon, 02 May 2016 00:01:57 +0000 Tyler Durden 530219 at Why Socialism Will Always Fail <p><em><a href="">Authored by Ludwig von Mises via The Mises Institute,</a></em></p> <p><em>Excerpted from <a href="">Human Action</a></em></p> <p><u><strong>The director wants to build a house. </strong></u>Now, there are <strong>many methods that can be resorted to</strong>. Each of them offers, from the point of view of the director, certain advantages and disadvantages with regard to the utilization of the future building, and results in a different duration of the building&#39;s serviceableness; each of them requires other expenditures of building materials and labor and absorbs other periods of production. <em><strong>Which method should the director choose? </strong></em>He cannot reduce to a common denominator the items of various materials and various kinds of labor to be expended. Therefore he cannot compare them. He cannot attach either to the waiting time (period of production) or to the duration of serviceableness a definite numerical expression. <strong>In short, he cannot, in comparing costs to be expended and gains to be earned, resort to any arithmetical operation.</strong> The plans of his architects enumerate a vast multiplicity of various items in kind; they refer to the physical and chemical qualities of various materials and to the physical productivity of various machines, tools, and procedures. But all their statements remain unrelated to each other. There is no means of establishing any connection between them.</p> <p>Imagine the plight of the director when faced with a project. <strong><em>What he needs to know is whether or not the execution of the project will increase well-being, that is, add something to the wealth available without impairing the satisfaction of wants which he considers more urgent. But none of the reports he receives give him any clue to the solution of this problem.</em></strong></p> <p>We may for the sake of argument at first disregard the dilemmas involved in the choice of consumers&#39; goods to be produced. We may assume that this problem is settled. <strong>But there is the embarrassing multitude of producers&#39; goods and the infinite variety of procedures that can be resorted to for manufacturing definite consumers&#39; goods.</strong> <em>The most advantageous location of each industry and the optimum size of each plant and of each piece of equipment must be determined. One must determine what kind of mechanical power should be employed in each of them, and which of the various formulas for the production of this energy should be applied. All these problems are raised daily in thousands and thousands of cases. Each case offers special conditions and requires an individual solution appropriate to these data. The number of elements with which the director&#39;s decision has to deal is much greater than would be indicated by a merely technological description of the available producers&#39; goods in terms of physics and chemistry. The location of each of them must be taken into consideration as well as the serviceableness of the capital investments made in the past for their utilization. The director does not simply have to deal with coal as such, but with thousands and thousands of pits already in operation in various places, and with the possibilities for digging new pits, with the various methods of mining in each of them, with the various methods for utilizing the coal for the production of heat, power, and a great number of derivatives. It is permissible to say that the present state of technological knowledge makes it possible to produce almost anything out of almost everything. Our ancestors, for instance, knew only a limited number of employments for wood. Modern technology has added a multitude of possible new employments. Wood can be used for the production of paper, of various textile fibers, of foodstuffs, drugs, and many other synthetic products.</em></p> <p><strong>Today two methods are resorted to for providing a city with clean water.</strong> Either one brings the water over long distances in aqueducts, an ancient method long practiced, or one chemically purifies the water available in the city&#39;s neighborhood. Why does one not produce water synthetically in factories? Modern technology could easily solve the technological problems involved. The average man in his mental inertia is ready to ridicule such projects as sheer lunacy. However, the only reason why the synthetic production of drinking water today--perhaps not at a later day--is out of the question is that economic calculation in terms of money shows that it is a more expensive procedure than other methods. <strong>Eliminate economic calculation and you have no means of making a rational choice between the various alternatives.</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The socialists, it is true, object that economic calculation is not infallible. </strong></span>They say that the capitalists sometimes make mistakes in their calculation. Of course, this happens and will always happen. For<strong> all human action points to the future and the future is always uncertain</strong>. The <strong>most carefully elaborated plans are frustrated if expectations concerning the future are dashed to the ground</strong>. However, this is quite a different problem. Today we calculate from the point of view of our present knowledge and of our present anticipation of future conditions. We do not deal with the problem of whether or not the director will be able to anticipate future conditions. What we have in mind is that the director cannot calculate from the point of view of his own present value judgments and his own present anticipations of future conditions, whatever they may be.<strong> If he invests today in the canning industry, it may happen that a change in consumers&#39; tastes or in the hygienic opinions concerning the wholesomeness of canned food will one day turn his investment into a malinvestment.</strong> But how can he find out today how to build and equip a cannery most economically?</p> <p><strong>Some railroad lines constructed at the turn of the century would not have been built if people had at that time anticipated the impending advance of motoring and aviation.</strong> But those who at that time built railroads knew which of the various possible alternatives for the realization of their plans they had to choose from the point of view of their appraisements and anticipations and of the market prices of their day in which the valuations of the consumers were reflected. It is precisely this insight that the director will lack. <strong>He will be like a sailor on the high seas unfamiliar with the methods of navigation, or like a medieval scholar entrusted with the technical operation of a railroad engine.</strong></p> <p><em>We have assumed that the director has already made up his mind with regard to the construction of a definite plant or building. However, in order to make such a decision he already needs economic calculation. If a hydroelectric power station is to be built, one must know whether or not this is the most economical way to produce the energy needed. How can he know this if he cannot calculate costs and output?</em></p> <p>We may admit that in its initial period a socialist regime could to some extent rely upon of the preceding age of capitalism. <em><strong>But what is to be done later, as conditions change more and more? Of what use could the prices of 1900 be for the director in 1949? And what use can the director in 1989 derive from the knowledge of the prices of 1949?</strong></em></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><u><strong>The paradox of &quot;planning&quot; is that it cannot plan, </strong></u>because of the absence of economic calculation.<em><strong> What is called a planned economy is no economy at all.</strong></em> It is just a system of <strong>groping about in the dark</strong>. There is no question of a rational choice of means for the best possible attainment of the ultimate ends sought. What is called conscious planning is precisely the elimination of conscious purposive action.</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="281" height="145" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Fail Ludwig von Mises Mises Institute None Sun, 01 May 2016 23:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530199 at