“It is the absolute right of the state to supervise the formation of public opinion.” - Goebbels
Only under the Obama Presidency, in which every appointment, minor or major, is handed only to the most corrupt, devious crony to be found, can a man like Cass Sunstein be appointed to serve on the NSA oversight panel. Cass is a noted propagandist, who has advocated that government agents should infiltrate groups and discussions that push “conspiracy theories” in order to delegitimize them. But don’t take our word for it...
Moments ago, Syria relented to the main gating condition that would prevent an all out escalation, and as Russia urged it to, has permitted an inspection of last Wednesday's alleged chemical weapons attack by UN inspectors. The WSJ reports that "Syria would allow United Nations inspectors currently present in Damascus immediate access to areas around the capital where the opposition accused the regime of using chemical weapons against fighters and civilians five days ago. A presenter on Syrian state television reading a statement attributed to an unnamed official at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the agreement was reached after a meeting between Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Angela Kane, the U.N. disarmament chief, who arrived in Damascus on Saturday." Of course, since demand for said inspection was just a strawman as the last time the UN inspected a "certain" chemical weapons attack by Assad it found "rebels may have used sarin" instead, and the US was absolutely certain Syria would not relent to an inspection thus allowing a full scale military attack, the US is now downplaying compliance with this key demand, by saying it is too little too late.
BREAKING. @CBSNews has learned that the Pentagon is making the initial preparations for a Cruise missile attack on Syrian government forces
— Charlie Kaye (@CharlieKayeCBS) August 23, 2013
Now that the US has made up its mind once more and "knows" that Wednesday's chemical attack in Syria was conducted by the government and targeting the "rebels", even as the "developed" west calls for a UN investigation to determine just that, and as the US (including the CIA), Israel and Jordan have already sent an advance military force into Syria to conduct more false flag provocations and blame it on the regime, the only next step is to soften and prepare popular opinion for what comes next. And what comes next is on the front page of the WSJ this morning: "The U.S. began refining its military options for possible strikes in Syria, officials said... Officers at the Pentagon on Thursday were updating target lists for possible airstrikes on a range of Syrian government and military installations." Then again we have seen all this before. Surely, one of these times the administration will actually go ahead and push the button instead of just talking about it.
The USA puts men behind bars for revealing what the country and the world should have been told a long time ago: the laws are different for those in one place that is high on the hill and for the rest of the population we can whistle until the cows come home because those laws will be applied in a different way
- SURPRISE - Goldman Sachs won a preliminary victory to limit losses from a wave of erroneous trades that roiled U.S. options markets (WSJ)
- HP’s Whitman abandons 2014 revenue growth target (FT) - just keep doing those buybacks and ignore CapEx: revenue growth estimated in 2022
- Republicans in Echo Before Big Burn Defy Affordable Care (BBG)
- China's banks to take next step in rate reform push (Reuters)
- Berlin’s Consistency on Greece’s Rescue (FT) and lack thereof
- Summers as Obama Voice of Authority Rides Car Rescue in Fed Race (BBG)
- Cuomo in Manure Fight as New York Promotes Yogurt (BBG)
- Yellen’s Ties From London to Shanghai Bypass White House (BBG)
- Sanctions Gap Allows China to Import Iranian Oil (WSJ)
Not only does FNM seem to be unprofitable under the new FHFA guidance, but payments made to Treasury might need to be reversed.
Barack Obama has been running around the country taking credit for an "economic recovery", but the truth is that things have not gotten better under Obama. Compared to when he first took office, a smaller percentage of the working age population is employed, the quality of our jobs has declined substantially and the middle class has been absolutely shredded. If we are really in the middle of an "economic recovery", why is the homeownership rate the lowest that it has been in 18 years? Why has the number of Americans on food stamps increased by nearly 50 percent while Obama has been in the White House? Why has the national debt gotten more than 6 trillion dollars larger during the Obama era? Obama should not be "taking credit" for anything when it comes to the economy. In fact, he should be deeply apologizing to the American people.
Just how far have our countries gone in the so-called fight against terrorism that they have been waging every single second since 9/11?
During the NBC Nightly News segment last week about one of the unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Lisa Myers reported speaking with "almost 20 small businesses and other entities around the country" and that "almost all said that because of the new law, they’d be cutting back hours for some employees." But the Obama administration doesn’t see why there’s such a fuss. According to Myers: The White House dismisses these examples as “anecdotal.” The president’s top economic advisor [CEA Chair Jason Furman] told us “he sees no systematic evidence the health care law is having an adverse impact on the number of hours employees are working.” So, should we take our government’s word and dismiss the examples as anecdotal?
It turns out the US is unhappy with the non-coupy military leaders in Egypt for arresting the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood (whose name is Mo Badie) because, according to White House spokesman John Earnest, the action "does not reflect Egypt's commitment to an inclusive political process." Maybe the US really does believe there was no coup in Egypt, and that the current military leaders actually do care about an inclusive political process. Otherwise, this statement is about as profound as the UK government busting up the Guardian's hard disks in hopes of destroying Snowden evidence.
- So no great rotation into EM? Capital Flows Back to U.S. as Markets Slump Across Asia (BBG)
- Muslim Brotherhood leader arrested in Egypt (Reuters)
- Allies Thwart America in Egypt: Israel, Saudis and U.A.E. Support Military Moves (WSJ)
- Dear Bloomberg: when you buy the loans of a distressed retailer, you are not betting on a rebound, you are betting on being the fulcrum security in a bankruptcy: Kyle Bass Said to Bet on J.C. Penney Comeback With Loan Purchase (BBG)
- Bubbles Bloom Anew in Desert as Buyers Wager on Las Vegas (BBG)
- Britain rejects Spanish request for Gibraltar talks (Reuters)
- U.K. Mortgage Lending Rises to Highest Since Lehman Collapse (BBG)
- Pension Funds Dispute Math in Detroit Bankruptcy (WSJ)
- Christie Says Gayness Inborn as He Signs Therapy Measure (BBG)
DOJ Picks Up Where FERC Left Off: Begins Investigation Of JPMorgan's "Enronesque" Energy Market ManipulationSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/19/2013 18:50 -0400
On July 30, when FERC announced that it had agreed to resolve it allegations of JPMorgan manipulation of the energy market for a $410 million fine, with the bank neither admitting nor denying guilt, we posited that the only question on Jamie Dimon's mind was whether to pay the fine from petty cash or just to charge it on his corporate Amex. Three weeks later he may have some other questions swirling in his head, such as "whose Christmas lobbying stocking did I not fill with campaign donations?" after the WSJ reported that it is no longer FERC, but the DOJ itself, led by Preet Bharara, which is investigating whether JPM manipulated energy markets. Ironically, this is a deja vu of the SAC take down by the same Bharara, when a few months after SAC settled with the SEC it was shocked to be crushed by the Department of Justice which pulled an "Arthur Anderson" on it and for all intents and purposes shut it down (although with nobody sent to prison). It remains to be seen if Bharara will have the balls to take this prosecution to the next level and whether after he made SAC into Arthur Anderson, he will make JPMorgan into the New Normal's Enron and whether Jamie Dimon or Blythe Masters will be the next Lay and/or Skilling. One can hope.
The daily presidential-tracking poll shows that on Sunday August 18th 51% of US citizens disapprove of what President Obama is doing in the country.
CBS' White House correspondent Mark Knoller noted earlier:
Meeting with POTUS tomorrow are heads of the CFPB, FHFA, the Fed, CFTC, FDIC, NCUA, the SEC & Comptroller of the Currency.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) August 19, 2013
And while correlation is not causation (but suggests you are on the right path), remember what happened the last time the President, somewhat unexpectedly, met with the CEOs of all the big banks.