In an article titled “GOP Senate Nominee Would Profit From Government Default“ Talking Points Memo reports that Ohio Senate nominee Josh Mandel has a short position on US Treasury bills. The candidate’s stated position is to “stop raising the debt ceiling.” The site argues that if the debt ceiling is not raised, the US would default on its debt, dramatically raising the value of bond yields and increasing their value for Mandel. They conclude, “the very optics of a politician profiting off a default could present problems for Mandel as he tries to convince Ohio voters to send him to Washington next year.” There are several problems with this assertion. Read More »
Courtesy of comedians John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman, some comedic commentary on the Libor scandal. Accurate and humorous, they state: “I cannot afford my brain to be distracted for a second by the lingering suspicion that our entire society is based on greed fueled financial trickery and economic larceny on a mathematically unfathomable scale.”
That’s it, the theme of the year for 2012. This is all they have to say on Libor, but listen to the rest of their podcast here.
We hear a lot these days that due to high levels of sovereign and private debt, we will be unable to avoid a massive financial collapse, reshaping the world as we know it. Usually, proponents argue the collapse will happen quickly, bringing about a short term political vacuum and by necessity, a new economic model. Odd as it may sound, this might actually be far too optimistic.
While the chance of a simultaneous worldwide banking failure is not zero, there is another, we would argue much more likely possibility: that we’ll manage to bungle our way from one crisis to another, with no satisfactory resolution. Meanwhile, the financial oligarchy will continue to tighten its grip on the state and the population with increasingly devastating results. Here David Stockman, a former Congressman and Director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan administration, says we will likely suffer a series of crisis points in quick succession.
If the primary theme of the new Batman movies could be boiled down to one word, it would be fascism. Clearly, all superhero movies have fascist elements in them. They feature superhuman beings who through force of will and personal strength are capable of beating back otherwise unbeatable monsters. This is how the classic fascists of the 1920s and 1930s viewed themselves.
Fascist try to argue there is a battle between them, the ultimate good, and their enemies, the ultimate evil. They present ideological black and white solutions to complicated problems. Of course, the real world’s heroes are not so easy to identify. They don’t wear capes, or achieve any real direct power. Read More »
During the summer of 2008, before the financial crisis forced a light on Wall Street’s corruption (and influence), I was promised by no fewer than three news commentators that by the November election, they would investigate and expose exactly who Barack Obama was. By that, they meant his ideology, his priorities, his views on geo-political power and his real plan for America.
Many of us may remember the senator was seen as a somewhat nebulous character. True, he embodied the centrist Democratic ideal; seemingly molded in a laboratory, he looked young, charismatic, ethnically diverse, intellectual, nuanced and beautiful, but even casual observers knew this was vapid. More information was needed, if only to confirm what many already chose to believe.
Did he really believe in “spreading the wealth?” Was he a “uniter not a divider?” Was he part of the left or someone left of center? After his election he was called a committed centrist and even a moderate Republican. Less flattering assessments have argued he is a sociopath and more recently, he’s been compared to Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney. All of these assessments have at least some justification, depending on how you define the terms, but how’s this for you: There is no President Obama. Read More »
Indeed it is and it will take with it any sucker foolish enough to enter the industry. Like the housing bubble and the dot-com boom, its collapse goes against all conventional and establishment thinking, but it’s an easy call to make if you examine the evidence.
At first, the industry looks healthy, robust and likely to expand well into the future. According to a recent report by Georgetown University, healthcare demand is expected to grow twice as fast as the rest of the economy. They predict jobs in the industry will make up 13 percent of all jobs in the US. They say the government will spend one out of every five dollars on healthcare. The study says much of the growth will come from robust demand from aging Baby Boomers.
You can hear it now. “That’s quite a growth trend! Why, I should tell my son or daughter about this so they can run head first into this high paying industry!” There’s only one problem with the school’s analysis. It’s a fiction based on erroneous projections. Read More »
Finally, our long national nightmare is over. The government brought charges, submitted its case to the people, and the people decided. Baseball player Roger Clemens has been acquitted of perjury for allegedly lying to congress when asked about using performance enhancing drugs.
Of course, no amount of press fanfare should be spared for such a monumental story. As of the time of this writing, the verdict holds the top spot on websites of every major newspaper, and why not? There’s clearly nothing else going on, at least nothing worth discussing.
I’m being facetious of course, but the real parody is our government, which spares no expense to charge and try citizens for lying to the government, while they simultaneously lie to us every single day — and yes, it is illegal for a government official to knowingly lie to you. Under the False Statement Statute (Title 18, Section 1001) any member of the executive, judicial or legislative branches of government can be criminally charged for knowingly making false statements. If convicted, they can serve up to 8 years in prison or pay a fine of up to $10,000. Read More »
Just weeks before it was revealed JP Morgan Chase lost billions in “hedge” trading and speculation, it was announced that the bank has a new deal with Connecticut, Louisiana and other states to financialize their tax returns.
Instead of residents receiving a tax refund check directly from the government, they will be required to accept payment via Chase debit cards. Not only will JP Morgan now have access to residents’ refunds (which they will be able to treat like any deposit, lending it out and creating leverage) but they will also be able to collect some fees on those deposits. Read More »
A report recently published by two Japanese scientists describes the effects of a new invention they call a “speech jammer.” When directed at a person speaking, it confuses the subjects brain, quickly causing him or her to fall silent. In essence, the device literally silences speech. Read More »