About a year after it was first revealed that the US had spied not only on Angela Merkel but on virtually every German citizen, in a remarkable NSA-CIA tag-team joint venture, many were wondering why Germany is taking things so calmly (aside, of course, for the whole "Fed may need to bail out Deutsche Bank at any moment" bit). Turns out the answer is that Germany was doing the same all along and as the German press reveals today, the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has tapped at least one phone call of then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
Back in February we observed, with some surprise, when Soros Fund Management, the investment vehicle of the famous Hungarian billionaire investor revealed in its Q4 13F that the firm had taken its bearish S&P 500 ETF - aka SPY - put exposure to a then record $1.3 billion notional, prompting us and many others to ask if Soros was preparing for a market crash. Fast forward to today when following the latest 13F disclosure from the same fund, we note, with double the surprise that a quarter after the same ETF put was lowered to "only" $299 million notional, Soros has once again increased his total SPY Put to a new record high of $2.2 billion, or nearly double the previous all time high, and a whopping 17% of his total AUM.
Even though government surveillance is becoming more and more invasive, there are ways to shield yourself from prying eyes. If you agree with the premise that every person has the right to protect their personal matters and privacy from the Big Brother, there are free options to use out there that can ensure your communications, your digital presence and activity, and your data remain secure and private.
Curious what (long) positions hedge funds bought, sold, initiated or liquidated in the second quarter? Then the following summary, courtesy of RanSquawk is for you. And while these 13F reports are far less relevant than they used to be when central-planning wasn't the rule of the land, keep a close eye on these most frequently mentioned stocks: AAPL, DG, AAL, MNK, FB, PCLN, GM, VZ, AGN, AIG, DTV, CMCSA, WMB, QCOM, APC, and CBS.
For everyone curious how the market's favorite "balls to the wall" barometer did in the second quarter (which ended 45 days ago), here is the full breakdown.
"The U.S. government has grown strangely quiet on the accusation that it was Russia or her allies that brought down the Malaysian airliner with a buk anti-aircraft missile... When evidence contradicts our government’s accusations, the evidence is never revealed to the public—for national security reasons, of course... Too bad we can’t count on our government to just tell us the truth and show us the evidence. I’m convinced that it knows a lot more than it’s telling us."
In an unbelievable display of arrogance and self-importance, the Australian government recently announced the most sweeping changes to their national security legislation since 9/11. Basically they’re telling everyone that they should just be afraid… and that the government must spy on citizens in order to protect them. This is how it always happens... and we can watch yet another country slide rapidly into a police state.
Pentagon Confirms Russia Violated US Airspace 16 Times In Last 10 Days, "Not Just Training Missions"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/07/2014 12:47 -0400
Having admitted that a Russian fighter jet flew within 30 meters of a US spy plane (on the border of Russia) a month ago, The Washington Times reports defense officials confirming Russian strategic nuclear bombers conducted at least 16 incursions into northwestern U.S. air defense identification zones over the past 10 days - an unusually sharp increase in aerial penetrations.
We are all Obama's "folks" now...
A day after Malaysian Airlines MH-17 was shot down on July 17 over east Ukraine (still to be determined by who thanks to epic amounts of fact-free propaganda) the new cold war between Russia and the US nearly heated up quite substantially, after a U.S. Air Force spy plane closely evaded an encounter with the Russian military on July 18 in what may potentially have escalated into a live fire tragedy that could have unleashed something far worse. According to CNN, the U.S. plane had been flying in international airspace, conducting an electronic eavesdropping mission on the Russian military, when the Russians took the unusual action of beginning to track it with land-based radar. The Russians then sent at least one fighter jet into the sky to intercept the aircraft, the U.S. official said Saturday.
"Obama should just resign. He is outrageous. He supported the NSA and has claimed the CIA does not spy on Congress. Well, the Inspector General has released his report and oops – yes the CIA spies on Congress. Obama has used the NSA, IRS, and the CIA to attack everyone. These people behind the curtain are the unelected. Obama is either a stooge or part of the real danger to the survivability of our nation long-term."
America Used COMMUNIST Torture Techniques SPECIALLY DESIGNED to Produce F·A·L·S·E Confessions
"In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did things that were contrary to our values."
For reasons that have no rational explanations at this time, the US and Europe have embarked on a concerted program to demonize Putin, ostracize Russia, and bring the world as close to a major conflict as it's been since the Cold War, a time hardly memorable to many in the current crop of our elected officials. A dangerous dynamic is brewing between the West and Russia/Putin. We are seeing a rush to war very similar to the one that led up to Saddam's ouster, but this time, we have much less justification (hard to believe) and the opponent is tremendously more capable. There is little sense in the course the West is currently pursuing, little to gain, and much to lose. The main conclusion here is that not only is the US poking the bear, but it is doing so with increasing frequency and upping the ante dangerously with each step.
Imperial Washington is truly running amuck in its insensible confrontation with Vladimir Putin. The latest round of new sanctions is a counter-productive joke. But it is the larger narrative that is so blatantly offensive - that is, the notion that a sovereign state is being wantonly violated by an aggressive neighbor arming “terrorists” inside its borders. Once again, the American Warfare State has confected a false narrative to justify policies and missions that have nothing to do with the safety and security of the citizens of Lincoln NE and Wooster MA. Unfortunately, false narratives are what the Warfare State does.