en The Lost Goldman Sachs 1985 Fixed Income Recruiting Video <p><a href=""><em>Authord by Sarah Butcher via,</em></a></p> <p><strong>In 1985, Goldman Sachs was still a partnership. </strong>The current partners owned around 80% of the firm, retired partners held the remainder. Lloyd Blankfein was a 31 year-old trader at J. Aron, the commodities house Goldman had purchased four years earlier. Run by John Weinberg, a former M&amp;A banker, Goldman in 1985 was mostly a U.S. operation. There were a handful of overseas offices, including one in London, but in&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">the words of Lisa Endlich</a>,<strong> Goldman’s London few hundred staff were sitting in an, “unair-conditioned setting on one floor of an office building.”</strong></p> <p><strong>Nonetheless, Goldman wanted expansion.</strong> In 1986, it decided to go for growth. Over the next 12 years, the firm doubled in size and its capital increased five times.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="560" height="312" /></a></p> <p><strong>This is the world depicted by a fixed income recruiting video made by GS in 1985 which has<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow lightbox-video-0">&nbsp;just surfaced on Youtube.&nbsp;</a></strong>Despite being posted to the video sharing network in March 2015, it’s only just been unearthed.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="560" height="313" /></a></p> <p>We’ve posted the 10 minute video below (3 mins on YouTube are blank).<strong> Goldman used it to make a pitch for, “exceptionally talented and motivated individuals,” to work in the fixed securities markets which it said were experiencing, “rapid growth.”</strong></p> <p>Highlights of 1985 Goldman Sachs included smoking at the desk, endless coffee in paper cups, pagers in belts, big hair, big computers, a lot of telephones, a lot of paper and a lot of human beings. The video supplements this with an encouraging ’80s musical accompaniment.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><strong>“The pace is fast, and the atmosphere is intense,”</strong> Goldman’s former self warns: <strong>“Emotions change from minute to minute.”</strong> Prerequisites for getting a job there included, “intelligence, independence, a strong desire to succeed, creativity and the ability the quickly translate ideas into action…”</p> <p>If anyone knows who the people in the video are, please enlighten us <strong><em>(future GS CEO Jon Corzine can be seen shouting into the phone at 7 minutes 30 seconds).</em></strong> </p> <p>If you like the genre you can always go on to sample the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow lightbox-video-1">1987 documentary about Paul Tudor Jones.&nbsp;</a></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="902" height="502" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Blankfein Business Corzine Economy of New York City Economy of the United States Finance fixed Goldman goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs John L. Weinberg Lisa Endlich Lloyd Blankfein Lloyd Blankfein Paul Tudor Jones Rockefeller Center Subprime mortgage crisis Sat, 24 Jun 2017 20:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598578 at Visa Is Hiring An Ethereum Blockchain Engineer <p>For all those hardcore ethereum bugs who got <a href="">stopped out at $13 during </a>last week's 96% flash crash (and in some cases as low as $0.10) we have some good news<a href="">: Visa wants to hire </a>a BlockChain engineer who is "experienced with Ethereum and blockchain architecture to be a part of team tasked with building distributed application."</p> <p>There is just one problem: while we are confident compensation will be generous, according to the qualification requirements, "<strong>total Industry experience must be 8+ years" </strong>which is about twice as long as Ethereum has been in existence, and roughly as long as the very concept of blockchain has existed: perhaps Visa is only seeking to hire Satoshi?</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="1224" /></a></p> <p>By they way, did we mention that Visa is <strong>now working on Blockchain technology</strong>, is building a "distributed application" and the successful candidate "will be working in VISA Global Commercial Payments area, <strong>team will be building a new payment rail <a href="">leveraging Blockchain technology and distributed ledger</a>."</strong></p> <p>As Visa goes increasingly more publich with with aggressive expansion into blockchain - recal <a href="">last year the company Introduced </a>"International B2B Payment Solution Built on Chain’s Blockchain Technology" with virtually nobody noticing, the recent gains in ETH - if only as the rest of the world rushes in over all the "blockchain" buzz-&nbsp; which has resulted in a 40x return YTD, blowing away every single other asset class, will pale in comparison to what may be coming. Which reminds us of our February post "<a href="">Ethereum To Soar After JPMorgan, Intel, Microsoft And Others Form Blockchain Alliance</a><strong>." </strong>It did: back then Ethereum was $13.</p> <p><em>h/t <a href="">reddit</a></em><a href=""></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="488" height="269" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bitcoin Blockchain technology Blockchains Computing ConsenSys Cross-platform software Cryptocurrencies E-commerce Ethereum Ethereum Classic flash Joseph Lubin Ledger Others Form Blockchain Alliance Technology Sat, 24 Jun 2017 20:08:22 +0000 Tyler Durden 598603 at Shhhh! It's Top Secret: Fake News For Your Eyes Only <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Mike Shedlock via,</em></a></p> <p><strong>The absurd hysteria over Russia continues today</strong> from yours and my favorite Russia-hysteria promotion site: the <em>Washington&nbsp;Post</em>.<br /><span id="more-46479">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Fake News For Your Eyes Only</strong></span></p> <p>Today&rsquo;s joke of the day is an &ldquo;exclusive&rdquo; fake-news story from WaPo regarding <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Obama&rsquo;s Secret Struggle to Punish Russia for Putin&rsquo;s Election Assault</a>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried &ldquo;eyes only&rdquo; instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi&shy;mir Putin&rsquo;s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin&rsquo;s specific instructions on the operation&rsquo;s audacious objectives &mdash; defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The material was so sensitive that CIA Director John Brennan kept it out of the President&rsquo;s Daily Brief, concerned that even that restricted report&rsquo;s distribution was too broad. The CIA package came with instructions that it be returned immediately after it was read. To guard against leaks, subsequent meetings in the Situation Room followed the same protocols as planning sessions for the Osama bin Laden raid.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Obama told Putin that &ldquo;we knew what he was doing and [he] better stop or else,&rdquo; according to a senior aide who subsequently spoke with Obama. Putin responded by demanding proof and accusing the United States of interfering in Russia&rsquo;s internal affairs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Washington Post is withholding some details of the intelligence at the request of the U.S. government.</p> </blockquote> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Detailed Timeline of Allegations</strong></span></p> <p>In its &ldquo;exclusive&rdquo; fake news article,<strong> WaPo provided a detailed timeline of every allegation. It provided zero proof of anything.</strong></p> <p>WaPo even mocked Wikileaks for demanding proof.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-46480" src="" /></a></p> <p><u><strong>Shhhh! It&rsquo;s TOP Secret</strong></u></p> <p><strong>Putin demanded proof. None was offered. None exists.</strong></p> <p>Conveniently, WaPo is &ldquo;withholding some details of the intelligence at the request of the U.S. government.&rdquo;</p> <p><u><strong>Questions Abound</strong></u></p> <p>It would seem to me that an organization whose main purpose these days is to bring down the Trump administration would provide details to help that cause.</p> <ol> <li>Why is WaPo holding back publishing details that would be damaging to Trump?</li> <li>Did WaPo get its hands on a document given only to the president and three others, then immediately returned to the CIA? If so, how?</li> <li>Since the US meddles in elections, why should we be so outraged if other countries do the same?</li> <li>What right is it of the CIA to demand the president return documents to the CIA after the president reads them?</li> <li>Who is the CIA protecting?</li> </ol> <p><u><strong>Shhhh! It&rsquo;s TOP Secret</strong></u></p> <p>Putin demanded proof. None was offered. None exists.</p> <p><strong>Question number five gets to the heart of the matter.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>Who is the CIA Protecting? </strong></u></p> <p>Please consider the June 20, 2017, <em>Foreign Policy</em> Report <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">64 Years Later, CIA Finally Releases Details of Iranian Coup</a>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Declassified documents released last week shed light on the <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Central Intelligence Agency&rsquo;s central role in the 1953 coup</a> that brought down Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh, fueling a surge of nationalism which culminated in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and poisoning U.S.-Iran relations into the 21st century.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In early 1951, amid great popular acclaim, Mossadegh nationalized Iran&rsquo;s oil industry. A fuming United Kingdom began conspiring with U.S. intelligence services to overthrow Mossadegh and restore the monarchy under the shah.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The coup attempt began on August 15 but was swiftly thwarted. Mossadegh made dozens of arrests. Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi, a top conspirator, went into hiding, and the shah fled the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The CIA, believing the coup to have failed, called it off.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Operation has been tried and failed and we should not participate in any operation against Mossadegh which could be traced back to US,&rdquo; CIA headquarters wrote to its station chief in Iran in a newly declassified cable sent on Aug. 18, 1953. &ldquo;Operations against Mossadegh should be discontinued.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That is the cable which Kermit Roosevelt, top CIA officer in Iran, purportedly and famously ignored.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Believe the CIA? Really?</strong></u></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Anyone who routinely believes the liars and torturers at the CIA has mush for brains. When the CIA tells the truth, it is by accident.</p> <p>&mdash; Mike Mish Shedlock (@MishGEA) <a href="">June 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p><u><strong>Fake News Purveyors</strong></u></p> <p><strong>The biggest purveyors of fake news on Russia are the Washington Post and CNN.</strong></p> <p>The Hill commented <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Obama official: We &lsquo;choked&rsquo; on Russia response</a>.</p> <p>Obama&rsquo;s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, complained the Russians were &ldquo;playing this much bigger game which included elements like released hacked materials, political propaganda and propagating fake news, which they&rsquo;d pursued in other countries.&rdquo;</p> <p><u><strong>Bonus Questions</strong></u></p> <p><em><strong>What did Wikileaks publish other than the truth? If that helped Trump, so what?</strong></em></p> <p><em>At least it was not a pack of CIA lies.</em></p> <p>The ultimate irony in this never-ending fake news saga is the US has meddled in far more elections and in far worse ways than probing DNC servers even if Putin was personally involved.</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="288" height="126" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Barack Obama Central Intelligence Agency Central Intelligence Agency Cold War in popular culture Deception Donald Trump Fake news Iran Joke of the Day McLean, Virginia Media manipulation national security Nationalism News media None Politics Russian government same protocols Trump Administration U.S. intelligence United Kingdom US government White House White House Sat, 24 Jun 2017 19:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598586 at "Is The Equity Market Irrational Yet?" Citi Answers With The Following Chart <p>One of the bigger mysteries plaguing sellside analysts in recent weeks has been the seemingly inexplicable divergence between the euphoric market which keeps making new all time highs, and the expectations that global central banks will soon start reducing their balance sheets. it is this divergence that prompted Citi's popular strategist Matt King to predict that he "<a href="">expects markets to flounder as central banks try to exit</a>"...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="321" /></a></p> <p>... and prompted JPM's famous "quant wizard", Marko Kolanovic to warn that central bank balance sheet <a href="">unwind will be the catalyst the leads to "market turmoil</a>", to wit: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Risky assets have been rallying for years, and market volatility is near record lows. Valuations are high, arguably supported by low interest rates and record pace of central bank monetary expansion. <strong>However, this may change in the near future. In the US rates are rising and monetary accommodation from the ECB and BOJ is expected to recede. Medium term, this is likely to lead to market turmoil, and a rise in&nbsp; volatility and tail risks. </strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="224" /></a></p> <p>Yet with the upcoming central bank "turn" so obvious, not only have risk assets failed to price it in, but stocks stubbornly refuse to drop even fractionally, as nobody wants to be the first to sell. Discussing this phenomenon, King recently mused that <a href=""><strong>central banks have broken the market to such a degree it no longer can discount the very event that could be its doom</strong></a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>... our models suggest markets are unlikely to react until the reductions in purchases are actually implemented. This is in stark contrast to the widespread presumption of immediate and full discounting... Asset prices have rarely been able to pre-empt future changes in the pace of purchases, even when these have been announced in advance, over the last seven years. We think this is unsurprising when one set of buyers is so completely distorting the market.</p> </blockquote> <p>This in turn has prompted a bigger debate: <strong>has the equity market become irrational? </strong></p> <p>To Matt King the answer, at least in part, is yes. Meanwhile, in a separate discussion on Citi's equity side, strategist Jeremy Hale asked the very same question in the context of whether traders are now confined to an "irrational, end-cycle" market.</p> <p>As Hale writes, "we watch corporate leverage trends closely to asses where we are in the credit cycle – which is often a good indicator for the economic cycle. <strong>We have recently been highlighting the slowdown in commercial bank credit/loan creation and also the Fed Flow of Funds report which suggested corporates’ borrowing via credit market instruments had slowed significantly. </strong>As a reminder, when both these series turn decisively, grey shading can often be seen in the charts – i.e. recessions follow.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="349" /></a></p> <p>This, of course, is something this website has also been closely following, and as we <a href="">warned two weeks ago</a>, at the current rate of loan contraction, the US economy may have just a few weeks left before it slides into outright recession. Hale continues:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>[W]e would need a sustained uptick in borrowing in order to be convinced that the credit cycle hasn’t turned just yet <strong>and that time is ticking in our approach to endcycle. </strong>Sure, Trump could still come with the much needed adrenaline shot – the Citi base case is for fiscal stimulus to still emerge eventually – which might well buy us another year or two. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But, if not, the case for overweight cash/ FI and underweight equities would rise.</p> </blockquote> <p>Which bring us to the key question: "<strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Is The Equity Market Irrational Yet</span>?</strong>" Here is the answer from Citi, or rather <em>equity-City</em>; we already <a href="">know the answer from <em>debt-Citi </em></a>(and the subsequent <a href="">warning</a>).&nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Another way of looking at this debate is via the question of whether the equity market is behaving irrationally, as it sometimes does towards the very end of the cycle. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In trying to answer this, we looked at many intra-equity market correlation, dispersion and breadth measures for both price and earnings series. The bottom line is that we didn’t really find a holy grail to be used as the end-cycle indicator to follow. Conditions are just too different across history, and passive investment trends are influencing some of these calculations this time round.</p> </blockquote> <p>As one would expect, there never is an explicit answer to whether the market is "acting irrationally", especially since one man's irrational is another man's "perfectly rational" source of wealth effect. </p> <p>Still, Citi did share one particular chart of interest, which we present below: it shows the pair-wise correlation measure of the price action among S&amp;P 500 sectors. <strong>&nbsp;</strong> <strong>Here Citi finds that as the cycle matures, pair-wise correlations drop. When the cycle turns and stock markets drop, correlation picks up rapidly as investors “sell what they own”. </strong>In 2000/2001 and 2006/2007, this correlation indicator fell to around 20% before markets peaked out.&nbsp; As Hale concludes <strong>"we are currently at 30%. Perhaps not quite in the “danger zone” but definitely worth keeping an eye on.</strong>"</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="291" /></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="1104" height="642" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of Japan Business Central bank Central Banks Citigroup Corporate Leverage Economic history of the Netherlands Economy European Central Bank Finance Futures contract Monetary policy Money Price Action Recession S&P 500 Stock market US Federal Reserve Volatility Sat, 24 Jun 2017 19:13:03 +0000 Tyler Durden 598600 at Since Seattle Placed A Tax On Guns And Ammunition, The City's Violent Crime Rate Has Increased <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Mac Slavo via,</em></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>In recent years, Seattle has developed a reputation for passing asinine laws.</strong> Recently the city tried to <a href="" target="_blank">increase taxes on diet soda,</a> because the drink is more popular among white people. In the past they&rsquo;ve allowed <a href="" target="_blank">6th graders to receive IUDs</a> without parental consent, and have <a href="" target="_blank">enlisted garbage men to snoop through residential trash</a> in search of compost that is illegal to throw out. Seattle was also the first American city to pass a $15 minimum wage law, <a href="" target="_blank">which promptly hurt low wage workers</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 478px; height: 312px;" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>So it&rsquo;s no surprise that sometimes the city passes laws that backfire in very predictable ways. </strong>In 2015 Seattle tried to place a tax on gun and ammunition purchases, in an effort to curb some of the costs the city pays for gun violence.<strong> However, <a href="" target="_blank">these taxes didn&rsquo;t have the desired effect</a>.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess introduced the tax in 2015. It puts a $25 tax on every firearm sold in the city and up to 5 cents per round of ammunition. The measure easily passed and took effect January 1, 2016.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Comparing the first five months of 2017 with the same period before the gun tax went into effect,<strong> reports of shots fired are up 13 percent, the number of people injured in shootings climbed 37 percent and gun deaths doubled, according to crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Not only that, but the tax didn&rsquo;t bring in nearly as much money as city officials initially predicted. <strong>The only thing these taxes have accomplished, is the decimation of gun retailers in the city.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In selling his gun tax to the public, Burgess predicted it would generate between $300,000 and $500,000 annually. The money would be used to study the root causes of gun violence in hopes of reducing the costs to taxpayers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Seattle officials refuse to say how much the tax brought in the first year, only giving the number &ldquo;under $200,000.&rdquo; Gun rights groups have sued to get the exact amount.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But Mike Coombs, owner of Outdoor Emporium, the last large gun dealer left in Seattle, said the actual tax revenue is almost certainly just over $100,000, a figure based on information he says the city shared with his lawyers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Coombs said storewide, sales are down 20 percent while gun sales have plummeted 60 percent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had to lay off employees because of this,&rdquo; Coombs said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s hurting us, it&rsquo;s hurting our employees.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>So<u><strong> in other words, the city tried to raise money to pay down the costs of gun violence, but their efforts brought in very little money, and might have raised the costs of gun violence.</strong></u></p> <p>To be fair, there isn&rsquo;t any proof that this crime wave is directly related the gun and ammunition taxes. But the best case scenario is that these taxes had zero effect on crime rates, hurt jobs, and burdened law abiding gun enthusiasts for no good reason. And this was totally predictable. There was nothing preventing gun owners in Seattle from simply driving outside of the city limits to buy cheaper guns and ammunition. So there are only two reasonable explanations for why these taxes were implemented. <strong>Either the political leaders of Seattle are painfully dumb, or they were deliberately trying to wreck the gun industry in their city.</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="478" height="312" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Economy Gun violence Law Minimum wage Politics Seattle Police Department Tax Tax Revenue Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598585 at Russia Hacking Allegations Driven By a Serial Liar <p>Bonus stories:</p> <ul> <li> <h2 class="entry-title"><a href="" rel="bookmark" title="NSA Uses Trick to Spy On Americans">NSA Uses Trick to Spy On Americans</a></h2> </li> <li> <h2 class="entry-title"><a href="" rel="bookmark" title="U.S. Participating In Torture Again … Because We Didn’t Learn Any Lessons from Iraq">U.S. Participating In Torture Again &hellip; Because We Didn&rsquo;t Learn Any Lessons from Iraq</a></h2> </li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today&rsquo;s&nbsp;lengthy Washington Post&rsquo;s <a href="" target="_blank" title="story">story</a> makes it clear that former CIA boss John Brennan is <a href="" target="_blank" title="largely responsible">largely responsible</a> for driving the claim that Russia hacked the election.</p> <p>But Brennan is a <em>proven, documented</em> liar.&nbsp; He was busted for <a href="" target="_blank" title="lying">lying</a> to Congress and the American public by claiming&nbsp; that the CIA wasn&rsquo;t spying on the Congressional investigation into torture &hellip; when <a href=";_r=2" target="_blank" title="they were">it was</a>.</p> <p>Indeed, the Washington Post called on Brennan to be <a href="" target="_blank" title="fired for lying">fired for lying</a>.</p> <p>And Brennan&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" title="lied">lied</a> when &ndash; as&nbsp;Obama&rsquo;s counter-terrorism advisor &ndash; he said&nbsp;that&nbsp;in the&nbsp;past year there had not been a single collateral death from drone strikes. (He later <a href=";_r=0" target="_blank" title="changed">changed</a> that slightly to say there was no &ldquo;credible evidence&rdquo; of such deaths.)&nbsp;&nbsp; But there was abundant and credible&nbsp;evidence of collateral deaths from drone strikes.&nbsp; As just&nbsp;one example among many, a March 2011 CIA drone attack in Pakistan <a href=";showcaseid=00177" target="_blank" title="killed some 50 people">killed some 50 people</a>, including tribal elders who were gathered for a tribal conclave.)</p> <p>Trevor Timm <a href="" target="_blank" title="pointed out">pointed out</a> at the Guardian:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Internal intelligence <a class="u-underline" data-link-="" href="" name="in body link" target="_blank" title="documents leaked to McClatchy later">documents leaked to McClatchy later</a> confirmed Brennan to have lied at the time &hellip;.</p> <p>When Brennan was approved by the Senate, many of <a class="u-underline" data-link-="" href="" name="in body link" target="_blank" title="his friends told the media">his friends told the media</a> he wanted to get the CIA out of the drone business and hand operations over to the Pentagon, but of course once he assumed his office, he seems to have reversed course and <a class="u-underline" data-link-="" href="" name="in body link" target="_blank" title="kept the drone program under CIA control">kept the drone program under CIA control</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Brennan also <a class="u-underline" data-link-="" href="" name="in body link" target="_blank" title="fed the public wildly inaccurate details">fed the public wildly inaccurate details</a> about the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011, and despite <a class="u-underline" data-link-="" href="" name="in body link" target="_blank" title="condemning leaks">condemning leaks</a> of classified information from others, he has <a class="u-underline" data-link-="" href="" name="in body link" target="_blank" title="often leaks classified information">often leaks classified information</a> himself to suit his own needs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is the type of spy &hellip; who lies because he doesn&rsquo;t like to tell the truth.</p> </blockquote> <p>Indeed, Brennan&rsquo;s CIA even&nbsp;<a href="" title="created hacking techniques to frame">created hacking techniques to frame</a> other countries for hacking incidents.&nbsp;<em>&nbsp; </em></p> <p>Why is the media taking Brennan&rsquo;s claims <a href="" target="_blank" title="at face value">at face value</a>?&nbsp; Especially when&nbsp;some of the other claims of Russian hacking have <a href="" title="officially been debunked">officially been debunked</a>?</p> <p>As Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Seymour Hersch <a href="" target="_blank" title="said">said</a> in January in a story questioning the whole Russian hacking story:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>[If I had been covering the story,] I would have made [John] Brennan into a buffoon. A yapping buffoon in the last few days. Instead, everything is reported seriously.</p> </blockquote> <p>Postscript: The other intelligence official behind many of the Russian hacking claims &ndash; James Clapper &ndash; is also a <a href="" title="confirmed liar">confirmed liar</a>.</p> <p>And see&nbsp;<a href="" title="this">this</a> and <a href="" title="this">this</a>.</p> Central Intelligence Agency Central Intelligence Agency Cold War in popular culture Congress Death of Osama bin Laden Government Iraq McLean, Virginia Pentagon Politics Senate SPY US Federal Reserve Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:24:02 +0000 George Washington 598601 at "We Can't Keep Losing Races" House Dems Meet To Plot Ouster Of Nancy Pelosi <p>Calls for the ouster of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are growing louder heading into the weekend as the blame for the Democrats&rsquo; 0-5 showing in a series of special house elections held this week has fallen squarely on her shoulders. <strong>While Pelosi has faced down previous threats, the present controversy looks like it&rsquo;s <em>snowballing into the biggest threat to her dominance during her 10-year reign as the party&rsquo;s leader in the House.</em></strong></p> <p>Indeed, Pelosi&#39;s ouster is looking increasingly probable as more of the rank-and-file turn against her. And as the latest report from the <a href="">Associated Press</a> confirms, a group of a dozen house Democrats met in the office of New York Rep Kathleen Rice on Thursday to try and figure out a way to remove Pelosi from her leadership position. <strong>While it looks as if Pelosi&#39;s opponents are growing more emboldened, they&#39;re still struggling with one important problem&hellip;they still need to find a way to execute their coup and force Pelosi from her position.</strong> The<a href=""> AP&#39;s story </a>relies heavily on quotes from New York Rep Kathleen Rice and Ohio&rsquo;s Tim Ryan, who are already jockeying for positions in the next iteration of the Democratic Party&#39;s leadership.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 275px;" /></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;A dozen or so House Democrats want Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to go after a dispiriting loss in a House election in Georgia. They just don&#39;t know how to make it happen.</p> <p><strong>&quot;We can&#39;t keep losing races and keep the same leadership in place. You have a baseball team that keeps losing year after year. At some point, the coach has got to go, right?&quot;</strong> said Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., on Friday.</p> <p>The frustrated Democrats met in Rice&#39;s office a day earlier to discuss their options as <strong>they face long odds of knocking out the woman who has led the Democratic caucus for nearly 15 years from minority to majority and back, raised tens of millions of dollars and has had multiple legislative successes.</strong> Their action plan: Keep talking. Keep raising the concern that something needs to change within the ranks of the party&#39;s leadership.</p> <p><strong>It&#39;s about all they can do.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Ryan, for his part, <strong>has been burnishing his credentials as a leader of the Democrats&rsquo; progressive faction since mounting a challenge to Pelosi&rsquo;s leadership following President Donald Trump&rsquo;s upset victory over Hillary Clinton. </strong>Though he lost that battle, he&rsquo;s received a lot of attention lately for his criticism of the Democratic Party leadership, <a href="">repeatedly saying that Congress should be focused on crafting a populist economic message</a> that will appeal to American workers, and spend less time talking about the investigations into the Trump campaign&rsquo;s ties to Russia.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;The issue I think strategically is that Trump energizes their base and Leader Pelosi energizes their base,&quot; said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who was unsuccessful last year in trying to unseat Pelosi. &quot;We should stop talking about Trump all the time, and Russia. People in Ohio don&#39;t grab me about Russia at all when I&#39;m home,&quot; </strong>Ryan said.</p> </blockquote> <p>President Trump is enjoying the mounting coup against one of his chief political opponents. He trolled Pelosi on twitter Thursday following the Democrats&rsquo; electoral loss, and reiterated his hope that she stays on in her leadership role during an interview on Fox News.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out. That would be very bad for the Republican Party - and please let Cryin&#39; Chuck stay!</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">June 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;I&#39;d like to keep her right where she is, because our record is extraordinary against her,&quot; </strong>Trump said in a Fox News interview.</p> </blockquote> <p>Seth Moulton, another one of the Democrats who attended the meeting in Rice&rsquo;s office, also favors ousting Pelosi, but says he&rsquo;d be open to meeting with her first.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., who also attended the meeting, said, &quot;in every corner of our caucus, we&#39;re concerned. And we have one goal: winning in 2018.&quot;</p> <p>Moulton is one of the House Democrats who has been most vocal in calling for a new generation of leadership. The Iraq war veteran endorsed eight veterans running for the House this week, and started a new national security task force with other young veterans within the Democratic caucus.</p> </blockquote> <p>To her credit, Pelosi has so far refused to crack, saying that she&rsquo;d <em><strong>happily agree to a meeting with the would-be mutineers.</strong></em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;Of course I&#39;m open to a meeting&quot; with Pelosi,&quot; Moulton said. &quot;We&#39;re a family. We&#39;re going to have those discussions.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Pelosi said that would be fine with her.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;I love the arena. I thrive on competition, and I welcome the discussion,&quot;</strong> she said.<br />&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>* * *</p> <p>Calls for Pelosi&rsquo;s ouster <a href="">began circulating on Wednesday</a> as the extent of the Democratic Party&rsquo;s electoral loss was first becoming clear.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;I think you&rsquo;d have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top,&rdquo; </strong>Rep. Filemon Vela, a Texas Democrat, told Politico.<br />&nbsp;<br />&ldquo;Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost, but she certainly is one of the reasons.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>The question of whether Pelosi could survive in power was splayed across the front page of liberal heartland Silicon Valley&#39;s paper,&nbsp;<a href="">The Mercury News of San Jose...</a></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 44px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>&quot;Some of the toughest ads against the 30-year-old [Georgia Dem candidate Jon] Ossoff were those tying him to Pelosi,&nbsp;whose approval ratings are underwater outside California.&quot;</strong></p> <p>Furthermore,&nbsp;as<a href=""> NYTimes reports,</a>&nbsp;in a possible omen,&nbsp;the first Democratic candidate to announce his campaign after the Georgia defeat immediately vowed not to support Ms. Pelosi for leader.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Joe Cunningham, a South Carolina lawyer challenging Representative Mark Sanford,&nbsp;said Democrats needed &ldquo;new leadership now.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Even Democrats who are not openly antagonistic toward Ms. Pelosi acknowledged that a decade of Republican attacks had taken a toll:&nbsp;&ldquo;It&rsquo;s pretty difficult to undo the demonization of anyone,&rdquo;&nbsp;said Representative Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey.</p> </blockquote> <p>So with all that said, we are left with one question, as&nbsp;The Economic Collapse blog&#39;s Michael Snyder asks,&nbsp;a<a href="">re the &#39;toxic&#39; Democrats destined to become a permanent minority party?</a></p> <p>Whatever happens with Pelosi, it has become exceedingly clear that the Democratic Party is in deep trouble.&nbsp; C<strong>lose to 55 million dollars was spent on the race in Georgia&rsquo;s sixth congressional district, and that shattered all kinds of records.&nbsp;</strong> Democrat Jon Ossoff was able to raise and <a href="">spend more than six times as much money as Karen Handel and yet he still lost.</a>&nbsp; This was supposed to be the race that would show the American people that the Democrats could take back control of Congress in 2018, and so for the Democrats this was a bitter failure.&nbsp; The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee actually injected almost 5 million dollars into the race themselves, and Planned Parenthood threw in another $700,000.&nbsp; But after all of the time, effort and energy that was expended, Handel still won fairly comfortably.</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="625" height="344" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> California Christine Pelosi Congress Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Democratic Party Donald Trump Fox News Iraq Mark Sanford Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi national security Ohio Party leader Paul Ryan Pelosi Politics ratings Republican Party South Carolina Tim Ryan Twitter Twitter United States House of Representatives Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598596 at How New Hampshire is Fighting for Independence <p><a href="">Via The Daily Bell</a></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">New Hampshire is in an abusive relationship, according to Carla Gericke, the President of&nbsp;<a href="" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">Foundation for New Hampshire Independence</a>. The Uncle Sam won’t let New Hampshire leave; he arrests the citizens for victimless crimes, he overrides the legislature for policy and regulation, and he takes her money.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">The state is a net payer of federal taxes, meaning they pay more federal taxes than they get back. When it comes to education alone, New Hampshire gets 30 cents on every dollar back. If the government is meant to be for and by the people, keeping that money local is a step in the right direction towards a more responsive government tailored to the people is serves.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Gericke claims that if New Hampshire became independent, it would be the wealthiest country on Earth per capita. The relationship between New Hampshire and the United States is not beneficial to New Hampshire, and some in the state want to go their own way to form a freer country.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Donald Trump is the gift that keeps on giving, according to Gericke, because he made liberals open to a conversation about secession. In fact, she hopes California will secede first so that New Hampshire can watch and learn. The goal is to become independent without having the tanks roll in from the USA.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Independence is not a strictly libertarian issue either, it is a local issue.&nbsp;In general, it is a positive to have your food come from local sources, to&nbsp;<a href="" style="box-sizing: border-box; background: 0px 0px; color: #0c5b3c;">eat at local restaurants, and drink local beer</a>. The closer government gets to the local level, the better it is. Unity on a national scale only creates controversy, violence, and resentment currently among people who don’t agree and shouldn’t have to.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Carla Gericke was once the President of the Free State Project, which seeks to move 20,000 freedom lovers to New Hampshire in order to influence the politics of the relatively small state. The project is based on a paper by Jason Sorens, who said that roughly 20,000 dedicated activists could influence the politics in a region of around a million people. That is why Gericke sees New Hampshire as a natural place to fight for freedom from an oppressive overlord who has grown too large and powerful, violating its own laws about letting states conduct their own business.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">New Hampshire also has a clause in their Constitution that specifically prescribes revolution (though not necessarily violent) if the federal government violates their contract with the state, which they have clearly done. By talking to neighbors over a beer, New Hampshire Independence thinks they can present their case without coming off as crazy guerilla fighters. That is not what the movement is about. The movement is about control over your own life, which starts by moving the governing structure closer to home.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Each representative in the New Hampshire legislature represents 3,000 people; it is one of the largest and most decentralized legislatures in the world. This means the government is already primed to be responsive to the needs of the people. Like all American states, New Hampshire already has a governing structure in place that would avoid any power vacuums in the event they became independent. It really wouldn’t be such an upset in daily life, unless the USA went out of its way to make it difficult.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">But perhaps people of all stripes can now find common ground to have this conversation. Now that the left hates the President, suddenly the idea of secession doesn’t sound so crazy. Americans can actually find more common ground by going our separate ways. Then people can all try different governing structures and ideas, allowing for experimentation in government that will let the best institutions emerge. And what we will likely find is that different governing structures make a lot of sense based on the region, culture, geography, resources, and the natural diversity which makes a one size fits all approach to governing a quagmire.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Of course, this is a long-term plan, and the first step of the process is the nullification of federal laws to make the state more independent. Already New Hampshire has seen some progress in this direction and has historically refused to play along with federal mandates. For instance, New Hampshire refused to implement a seatbelt law when the federal government held highway funds over their head. Yet still, New Hampshire has some of the highest rates of citizens wearing seatbelts.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">New Hampshire has a seaport, a border with Canada, and two neighbor states which each have an independent flare. In fact, Arcadia has been talked about as a loose confederation between New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. That way, the three states could enjoy free trade, safety in numbers, and open borders for easy travel.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Ideally, borders would remain open to the United States as well, but you never know how an abusive ex will react to emancipation. There is a precedent that those collecting social security can still collect their checks when living in foreign countries, and use American dollars, like Panama.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">But Americans dollars are not sound currency, and New Hampshire Independence supports a free market of competing currencies. New Hampshire businesses were early adopters of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and the state is host to many high-tech jobs in the IT and web development fields. Silver is already relatively widely accepted among businesses in the state.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">Once one state secedes, there will be a domino effect with at least a dozen movements within the United States to get whole states, or parts of states to gain independence from a larger political body that does not represent the best interests of the people.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">And once the precedent is set that it is okay to go your separate way peacefully, there is nothing to stop independence at a local level, and finally down to the individual.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">A woman shouldn’t be forced to maintain a relationship with an abuser, and nor should people be forced into a group where the dominant controllers abuse them.</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; padding-bottom: 8px; color: #303030; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, Times, serif;">The United States government is abusing people and running roughshod over more local governing structures. It is time for a great divorce, and New Hampshire might just have the right ingredients to make that happen.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-blog"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_blog" width="800" height="200" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Anarchism in the United States Bitcoin Carla Gericke Donald Trump federal government Foundation for New Hampshire Independence Free State Project Government of New Hampshire Hampshire Libertarianism in the United States New Hampshire New Hampshire legislature Outline of New Hampshire Political activism Political opposition Politics Politics United States United States government Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:05:49 +0000 TDB 598599 at Understanding The Cryptocurrency Boom <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via,</em></a></p> <div class="content clearfix"> <p>I recently came across a December 1996 <em>San Jose Mercury News</em> article on tech pioneers&rsquo; attempts to carry the pre-browser Internet&rsquo;s bulletin board community vibe over to the new-fangled World Wide Web.</p> <p>In effect, the article is talking about social media a decade before MySpace and Facebook and 15 years before the maturation of social media.</p> <p><em>(Apple was $25 per share in December 1996. Adjusted for splits, that&rsquo;s about the cost of a cup of coffee.)</em></p> <p>So what&rsquo;s the point of digging up this ancient tech history?</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>1. <strong>Technology changes in ways that are difficult to predict,</strong> even to visionaries who understand present-day technologies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2. The <strong>sources of great future fortunes are only visible in a rearview mirror.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Many of the tech and biotech companies listed in the financial pages of December 1996 no longer exist. Their industries changed, and they vanished or were bought up, often for pennies on the dollar of their heyday valuations.</p> <p><strong>Which brings us to cryptocurrencies, which entered the world with bitcoin in early 2009.</strong></p> <p>Now there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies, and a speculative boom has pushed bitcoin from around $600 a year ago to $2600 and Ethereum, another leading cryptocurrency, from around $10 last year to $370.</p> <p><strong>Where are cryptocurrencies in the evolution from new technology to speculative boom to maturation? </strong>Judging by valuation leaps from $10 to $370, the technology is clearly in the speculative boom phase.</p> <p>If recent tech history is any guide, speculative boom phases are often poor guides to future valuations and the maturation trajectory of a new sector.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Anyone remember &ldquo;push&rdquo; technologies circa 1997? </strong>This was the hottest thing going, and valuations of early companies went ballistic. &nbsp;Then the fad passed and some new innovation became The Next Big Thing.</p> <p>All of which is to say: nobody can predict the future course of cryptocurrencies, other than to say that speculative booms eventually end and technologies mature into forms that <em>solve real business problems in uniquely cheap and robust ways no other technology can match</em>.</p> <p><strong>So while we can&rsquo;t predict the future forms of cryptocurrencies that will dominate the mature marketplace, we can predict that markets will sort the wheat from the chaff by a winnowing the entries down to those that solve real business problems (i.e. address scarcities) in ways that are cheap and robust and that cannot be solved by other technologies.</strong></p> <p><img src="" style="height: 454px; width: 600px;" /></p> <h2><u>The &#39;Anything Goes&#39; Speculative Boom</u></h2> <p><strong>Technologies with potentially mass applications often spark speculative booms. </strong>The advent of radio generated a speculative boom just as heady as any recent tech frenzy.</p> <p>Many people decry the current speculative frenzy in cryptocurrencies, and others warn the whole thing is a Ponzi scheme, a fad, and a bubble in which the gullible sheep are being led to slaughter.</p> <p><strong>Meanwhile, tribalism is running hot in the cryptocurrencies space, with promoters and detractors of the various cryptocurrencies doing battle in online forums: bitcoin is doomed by FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about its warring camps, or it&rsquo;s the gold standard; Ethereum is either fundamentally flawed or the platform destined to dominate, and so on.</strong></p> <p><strong>The technological issues are thorny and obtuse to non-programmers, and the eventual utility of the many cryptocurrencies is still an open question/in development.</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s difficult for non-experts to sort out all these claims. What&rsquo;s <em>steak</em> and what&rsquo;s <em>sizzle</em>?&nbsp; We can&rsquo;t be sure a new entrant is actually a blockchain or if its promoters are using <em>blockchain</em> as the selling buzzword.</p> <p><strong>Even more confusing are the debates over <em>decentralization</em>.</strong> One of the key advances of the bitcoin blockchain technology is its decentralized mode of operation: the blockchain is distributed on servers all over the planet, and those paying for the electricity to run those servers are paid for this service with bitcoin that is &ldquo;mined&rdquo; by the process of maintaining the blockchain.&nbsp; No central committee organizes this process.</p> <p>Critics have noted that the mining of bitcoin is now dominated by large companies in China, who act as an informal &ldquo;central committee&rdquo; in that they can block any changes to the protocols governing the blockchain.</p> <p>Others claim that competing cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum are centrally managed, despite defenders&rsquo; claims to the contrary.</p> <p>Meanwhile, fortunes are being made as speculators jump from one cryptocurrency to the next as ICOs (initial coin offerings) proliferate. Since the new coins must typically be purchased with existing cryptocurrencies, this demand has been one driver of soaring prices for Ethereum.</p> <p><strong>As if all this wasn&rsquo;t confusing enough, the many differences between various cryptocurrencies are difficult to understand and assess.</strong></p> <p>While bitcoin was designed to be a currency, and nothing but a currency, other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum are not just currencies, they are <em>platforms</em> for other uses of blockchain technologies, for example, the much-touted <em>smart contracts</em>.&nbsp; This potential for applications beyond currencies is the reason why the big corporations have formed the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (<a href=""></a>).</p> <p>Despite the impressive credentials of the Alliance, real-world applications that are available to ordinary consumers and small enterprises using these blockchain technologies are still in development: <strong><em>there&rsquo;s lots of sizzle but no steak yet.</em></strong></p> <h2><u>Who Will The Winner(s) Be?</u></h2> <p><em><strong>How can non-experts sort out what sizzle will fizzle and what sizzle will become dominant?&nbsp;</strong></em> The short answer is: we can&rsquo;t. An experienced programmer who has actually worked on the bitcoin blockchain, Ethereum and Dash (to name three leading cryptocurrencies) would be well-placed to explain the trade-offs in each (and yes, there are always trade-offs), but precious few such qualified folks are available for unbiased commentary as tribalism has snared many developers into biases that are not always advertised upfront.</p> <p><em><strong>So what&rsquo;s a non-expert to make of this swirl of speculation, skepticism, tribalism, confusing technological claims and counterclaims and the unavoidable uncertainties of the exhilarating but dangerously speculative boom phase?</strong></em></p> <p>There is no way to predict the course of specific cryptocurrencies, or the potential emergence of a new cryptocurrency that leaves all the existing versions in the dust, or governments&rsquo; future actions to endorse or criminalize cryptocurrencies. &nbsp;But what we <em>can</em> do -- now, in the present -- is analyze present-day cryptocurrencies through the filters of <em>scarcity and utility</em>.</p> <p><em>In <a href="" target="_blank">Part 2</a><a href="" target="_blank">:&nbsp;The Value Drivers Of Cryptocurrency</a>, we analyze the necessary success requirements a cryptocurrency will need to excel on in order to become adopted at a mass, mainstream level. Once this happens (which increasingly looks like a matter of &quot;when&quot; not &quot;if&quot;), the resultant price increase of the winning coin(s) will highly likely be geometric and meteoric.</em></p> <p><em>Sadly, the most probable catalyst for this will be a collapse of the current global fiat currency regime -- something that increasingly looks more and more inevitable. This will destroy a staggering amount of the (paper) wealth currently held by today&#39;s households. Which makes developing a fully-informed understanding of the cryptocurrency landscape now -- today -- an extremely important requirement for any prudent investor.</em></p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank">Click here to read the report</a>&nbsp;(free executive summary,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">enrollment</a>&nbsp;required for full access)</em></p> </div> <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="288" height="179" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Apple Bitcoin Bitcoin China Computing Cryptocurrencies Finance Money Sat, 24 Jun 2017 17:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598576 at "Tick, Tick, Tick" Comey Ally Hints That Next NYT Bombshell Is In The Works <p>It&rsquo;s been a couple of weeks since the New York Times, Washington Post or CNN have published an anonymously sourced bombshell with more salacious details about the ongoing feud between former FBI Director James Comey and President Donald Trump. <strong>But the next salvo could arrive soon &ndash; <em>possibly as soon as Monday,</em> <em>if a longtime Comey confidant is to be believed.</em></strong></p> <p>Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, posted an ominous message on Twitter on Friday: <strong>&ldquo;TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK.&rdquo;</strong>&nbsp; Wittes&rsquo;s tweets may verge on ridiculous, but they should be taken seriously: As <a href="">the Daily Caller pointed out,</a> his tweets of <strong>&ldquo;tick tick tick&rdquo;</strong> have in the recent past preceded major NYT bombshells, including the <a href="">May 16</a> report about the Comey memo and its contents. He tweeted a similar message two days later, before the NYT published a report about Comey wanting to keep his distance from Trump.</p> <p>Wittes <strong>did it again shortly before the Times published a story alleging Comey asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to leave him in the room alone with Trump on <a href="">June 6.</a></strong> Wittes says he has reviewed Comey-related stories before, and was an on-the-record source for the <a href="">May 18 piece</a> reported by the NYT&rsquo;s Michael Schmidt, where he recounted to the NYT reporter that Comey had told him at a lunch meeting that he sought to distance himself from Trump. Comey felt that Trump was attempting to cozy up to Comey in hopes of quashing the ongoing Russia probe.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">tick tick tick tick tick tick</p> <p>&mdash; Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) <a href="">May 16, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">By the twitching of my thumbs,<br />Something wicked this way comes.</p> <p>tick tick tick tick tick tick tick</p> <p>&mdash; Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) <a href="">May 18, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Now please don&#39;t read anything into this, but</p> <p>tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) <a href="">June 6, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In his latest tweet, he claimed the &ldquo;fuse length&rdquo; on the next story is uncertain, and that it could drop as soon as Monday, or some time after.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">To be clear, fuse length on this one is uncertain. Could be today. Could be Monday.</p> <p>&mdash; Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) <a href="">June 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While Wittes has said that he and Comey have discussed how the White House handled the Russia investigation, <strong>he claims they did not discuss the particulars of the investigation, which is looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the election.</strong></p> <p>Comey began instructing his friends to leak damaging stories about Trump to the Times shortly after he was fired by the president on May 9. <strong>During testimony earlier this month, Comey admitted he was angered by Trump&rsquo;s remarks criticizing his management of the FBI, suggesting that his motives for leaking the stories <em>weren&rsquo;t exactly altruistic.</em></strong></p> <p>Wittes was not the source of the Comey memo, <a href="">as the Daily Caller recollects.</a> Columbia law school professor Daniel Richman, another friend of Comey&rsquo;s, shared the document with The Times after being provided a copy by the former FBI chief.</p> <p>The timing of Wittes message is notable: It follows President Donald Trump&rsquo;s admission that he was bluffing when he said he might have recorded his conversation with Comey, and <a href=""><strong>Comey&#39;s appearance at The New York Times&#39; offices</strong></a>...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="338" src="" width="545" /></a></p> <p>Comey, disguised behind dark sunglasses stared straight ahead as entered the Times Square office building, <strong>accompanied by his wife Patrice Failor.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 545px; height: 492px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>So, what will this next bombshell allege? </strong><em>Has Comey somehow found the smoking gun that will finally prove unequivocally that Trump colluded with the Russians? <u><strong>Maybe he&rsquo;s been keeping it in his back pocket, refusing to share it with the world <a href="">because he doesn&#39;t want to unleash another wave of anti-Russia hysteria.</a></strong></u></em></p> <p>Stay tuned to find out.</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="486" height="343" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Brookings Institution Comey Dismissal of United States Attorneys controversy Donald Trump Donald Trump FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey New York Times Russian government Testimony Tick Twitter Twitter United States United States intelligence agencies White House White House Sat, 24 Jun 2017 17:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 598588 at