"So yes, we made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do, but we are acting quickly to remedy them, and have taken steps to ensure they don't happen in the future," acting CEO Maura Pally writes, in a lengthy blog post defending the Clinton Foundation and attempting to assure the public that the charity will not be a vehicle whereby foreign donors can influence public policy in the US.
Following meetings with Sec. of State John Kerry, Defense Sec. Ashton Carter, Japanese officials, it appears, have been shown the endgame now that the Keynesian farce is over... As AFP reports, Japan’s military to take on more assertive role, according to Japanese officials as Japan and US bolster their alliance for the first time in 18 years. Noting the alliance "serves as the cornerstone of peace in AsiaPac," and that the Senkakus will fall under protection of this new treaty, we suspect the Chinese will have more than a few things to say about this.
"I have no way of imagining what the United States will be like in your adulthood and yet I can sense that this country is changing in unsettling ways... Stretch anything far enough and it’ll begin to tear, fragment, break apart. That, I suspect, may be a reasonable summary of what’s been happening in our twenty-first-century world. Under stress, things are beginning to crack open... Though you don’t know it yet, you’re already living in an increasingly lopsided world whose stresses only seem to be multiplying. This has been true for the return of plutocracy...It certainly doesn’t look like the American world I’d want to turn over to you."
"Louisiana faces a $1.6 billion budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year, a result of both plunging oil-tax revenue and the state’s failure to enact adequate tax increases or spending cuts after the economic downturn in 2009. The latest plans would mean an 82 percent cut to the state’s public colleges and universities."
It appears a breach of the White House’s unclassified computer system last year was far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged. As The NY Times reports, some of President Obama’s email correspondence was swept up by Russian hackers who also got deeply into the State Department’s unclassified system. "This has been one of the most sophisticated actors we’ve seen," according to one official, and while Mr. Obama’s BlackBerry was not penetrated, officials have conceded that the unclassified system routinely contains much information that is considered highly sensitive.
In what appears to be an effort to ensure that James Franco and Seth Rogen are never again sabotaged by evil North Korean hackers, the Pentagon is out with a new plan that explains when it may be necessary to take the cyber fight to the “aggressors” in order to “mitigate potential cyberrisk to the US homeland.” Unsurprisingly, the list of cyber adversaries is indistinguishable from what might fairly be called Washington’s “usual suspects.” The villains are: Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea.
"As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation... Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies including the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton... And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock."
It appears as though Hillary Clinton may be witnessing her “Geithner moment,” because as Reuters reports, several Clinton family charities will now refile a half decade worth of returns after failing to report “tens of millions” in contributions from foreign governments.
A U.S. drone strike in January targeting a suspected al Qaeda compound in Pakistan inadvertently killed an American and Italian being held hostage by the group, senior Obama administration officials said. As WSJ reports, the killing of American development expert Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto is the first known instance in which the U.S. has accidentally killed a hostage in a drone strike. We await President Obama's 'collateral damage' explanation.
In a stunning shun to Congressional lawmakers, WSJ reports that The Fed has failed to comply with a request that the bank-owned entity identify the individuals who leaked The FOMC Minutes to Medley Global Advisors a day before the official release in October 2012. Rep. Jeb Hensarling sent a letter to Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen on April 15 asking the Fed to name them by 5 p.m. EDT April 22. The deadline passed without any response by the Fed...
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe awoke on Wednesday to find a half-meter-wide drone, contaminated with trace levels of radioactive cesium, on the roof of his office in Tokyo. Of course this is nothing new for Washington where a drone crash-landed on The White House lawn in January and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Japan is looking to tighten laws governing drones (ahead of next year's G7-summit and the 2020 Olympics). Of course, the police have explained cesium isn't harmful to humans (though we suspect they aren't stupid enough to drink it).
- Because it just gets funnier: UK speed trader arrested over role in 2010 'flash crash' (Reuters)
- ... and funnier: Mystery Trader Armed With Algorithms Rewrites Flash Crash Story (BBG)
- Presidential hopeful Rubio reaches out to gay Republicans (Reuters)
- Varoufakis Sees Differences Narrowing in Creditor Talks (BBG)
- China Debt Mess Brings Out the Yin and Yang in Policy Makers (BBG)
- Hedge Fund That Made 18% on Dollar Strength Now Bets on Drop (BBG)
- Whistleblower Jim Marchese Scores Millions in Payout—Again (WSJ)
- Release of Benghazi Report on Hillary Clinton Likely Pushed to Election Season (BBG)
Despite our exposure of the contagious risk increases in peripheral bond spreads, "many European officials believe a Greek exit would be manageable, and in contrast to 2010-2011, we wouldn’t see the same cascading effect on countries like Spain or Ireland,” according to the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels and EU Chair Jeroen Djisselbloem even noted that "the Greek situation can be isolated." It appears America is getting nervous at Europe's apparent complacency... White House economic adviser Jason Furman says a Greek exit from the euro zone would present "VERY LARGE AND UNNECESSARY RISK FOR GLOBAL ECONOMY."
China is looking to succeed where the United States has failed. Beijing — which, as a reminder, claims it will not use its regional infrastructure development initiatives as a tool of foreign policy — is now set to facilitate the construction of nearly $50 billion in power plants, roads, and railways in neighboring Pakistan. The proposal, which will give China access to the Indian Ocean via the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, is part of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious “Silk Road” Economic Belt, and importantly, will likely include financing for the completion of the "Peace Pipeline," which will carry natural gas from Iranian gas fields across Pakistan.
The built-up tensions and fragilities are begging for release. The unfortunate consequence of not allowing the process of “creative destruction” to occur in banking and Big Business is that the historic forces behind it will seek expression elsewhere in the realm of politics and governance. The desperate antics of central banks to cover up financial failure can’t help but provoke political upheaval, including war.