Ukrainian analysis by the Saker: no hope for peace left

http://thesaker.is/ukrainian-analysis-by-the-saker-no-hope-left/

Today I will begin by quoting in full two posts from the blog of Colonel Cassad (we owe this translation to “SA” who has done it especially for this analysis literally overnight!):

About the intensity of the western “Voentorg”

Instructors from Canada have arrived to train Ukrainian security officers

The authorities of the Donetsk National Republic announce an increase in the number of foreign military instructors in the territory controlled by Ukraine.

– Today there are an immense number of instructors from different countries operating there. For example, 200 people came from Canada, and there are English and others. Now just counting those legally in the Ukrainian territory there are about 1,500 military instructors, who are not themselves fighting, but are instructing and training others. And this does not include illegal instructors, mercenaries, and special agents, – as Speaker of the National Council of the DNR Andrey Purgin described to the correspondent from RG. Judging by his words, foreign experts are conducting training in military science for members of sabotage groups and territorial battalions, who already “have their hands up to the elbow in blood”.

– Also there are mercenaries who are directly fighting on the side of the Ukrainian security officers. Generally they come from Georgia and join territorial battalions, which by the way is absolutely not permitted from the point of view of Ukrainian law. I do not know who is paying their salary. After all generally territorial battalions receive little, live on foraging, and engage in robberies, – says Andrey Purgin .

Let us remember that it was reported earlier that the Ukrainian side threw under Volnovakha 70 American mercenaries from the private US military company Academi.

“According to available data, on the territory controlled by the VSU, specifically in Volnovakha, the presence of 70 representatives of the private military company Academi was revealed. This company was named Blackwater previously”, – said the representative of the Ministry of Defence of DNR Edward Basurin. He also explained that mercenaries from this company carry out the orders of the US State Department at flashpoints, and are engaged in arms trafficking.

PS. Gradually there is a natural increase in foreign military presence, in light of the fact that the situation more and more clearly begins to remind one of scenarios like the Korean War. Just as in the case of Russian support of the DNR and LNR, the American “Voentorg” operation with support of allies and satellites, has two levels – legal and illegal.

At the legal level we observe:

1. The appearance of Instructors, who train officers and staff within the story about “doctrines” and “staff preparation”.
2. Information transfer from the American satellite group “allegedly with restricted clearance”.
3. Deliveries of outfits (uniforms, bullet-proof vests, {razgruzki}, helmets).
4. Deliveries of special devices (thermal visors, night vision devices, target indicators)
5. Deliveries of special equipmente (countermortar radar, REB devices, armored vehicles)
6. Concentration in Eastern Europe of mechanized units of the army of the USA.

At the illegal level we observe:

1. The active operation of private military companies (Academi, ASBA Otago, Greystone, Green Groop)
2. Illegal deliveries of small arms from Eastern and Western Europe.
3. Illegal deliveries of armored equipment from Eastern Europe.
4. Development of information and reconnaissance infrastructure on the basis of being state agencies of the Ukraine or under cover of the international organizations of the OSCE type.
5. Operation of instructors and military advisers whose presence in Ukraine is not officially announced and not revealed.

From what does not yet have obvious confirmations:

1. Artillery deliveries from countries of Eastern Europe.
2. Armored equipment deliveries from countries of Western Europe.

Basic channels of distribution of foreign military influence:

1. Airfields of Southeast Ukraine on which supply and transfer of special staff is engaged by military transport aircraft of the USA.
2. Railway junctions of Western Ukraine through which pass transit units with arms and ammunition from Eastern Europe.
3. Airfields of Central and Western Ukraine to which are delivered legal deliveries of equipment and technique, and as the legalized staff – instructors, “inspectors”, and “observers”.
4. The Odessa port is used for illegal arms supplies by sea, as well as for illegal arms traffic.

The primary countries involved in military support to the junta: USA and Poland.

The primary objectives which the military support achieves, is enhancing the level of fighting capacity of the VSU and the controllability of the progress of the war. Therefore the basic structural changes for VSU are associated not so much with deliveries of arms (which as a rule are outdated), but with a change of organizational logistics, reconnaissance, information, and command structures, which should increase the effectiveness of operations of the VSU.

Overall, the situation with foreign military man presence continues to develop and becomes more and more systemic. The fruits of the foreign “voentorg” operation may begin to be evident by July-August. At this stage the interior transformation of the VSU is in process and goes rather slowly due to irregularity of organizational structures and low level of command structures, to which is added a high level of corruption, misunderstanding by a considerable portion of the officer corps of the requirements of modern warfare, low level of technical preparation of staff when operating with unfamiliar technology. But one should not be deceived, these are problems which are surmountable to a certain extent, and with which military advisers and instructors are now properly engaged. As a result, the USA and its allies are trying to remake the army of the junta in the course of the war for its own needs and in order to resolve the necessary issues. For this reason they must not be at war on the front line, and therefore at this stage of war, you will hardly see the American Marines or any mechanized unit in the first line. They can appear only in hardened scenarios in the Ukraine section.

For now, “semi-legal voentorg” is sufficient, which in principle reflects the line of Obama’s administration for long-term opposition without direct military involvement of the USA. Hawks wish to add to the above-stated points open delivery of American lethal weaponry and more active involvement of the Pentagon in this war. This all proceeds against the background of low and medium-intensity fighting (both sides are actively using heavy artillery and tanks), which in fact began on April 12, and I do not think this will stop, since even the very first point on a “ceasefire” is de facto not being carried out. One must not even speak of the “withdrawal of heavy arms”. As a whole, the foreign military presence will gradually the nature of the ongoing war, which will become more and more systematic, organized, and centralized, from both sides. It is already not a war of semi-deployed VSU with the militia. This is a war of regular armies, trained and continuing to be trained by military advisers and instructors.

Situation on the front as of April 23rd

1. Military operations as before are low-intensity on most of the front, and medium-intensity in a number of sites – Bakhmutka, Peski, and now also under Schastye. High-intensity military operations are primarily under Shirokino, where practically the entire spectrum of arms is being used.

2. Shellings of cities continue, and first of all the front regions of Donetsk are exposed to junta artillery attacks. There are no serious[ly injured] victims among the civilian population. Although the shellings are systematic, their intensity varies from mid-range to low.

3. DNR military intelligence has reported that concentration of junta groupings is complete and they are prepared for approach. The basic areas of concentration of the battle groups are all the same – no substantive changes in location of the opponent were noted.  No withdrawal of heavy weapons is recorded, quite the opposite.

4. For about a week the VSN is in a state of heightened combat readiness, and a considerable proportion of heavy equipment is already moved into position. In the LNR, engineering operations at sites of possible VSU attacks are continuing.

Overall, after medium-intensity large-scale operations resumed April 12, the sides have continued preparatory work for high-intensity large-scale operations against the background of diplomatic maneuvering, and this is not a secret to both sides, who regularly accuse each other that the enemy is beginining to attack first.

Analysis:

There is very little doubt left in anybody’s mind that the junta will resume a full-scale attack on Novorussia.  Likewise, it appears that any hopes for a weakening of the US and/or European support for the Nazi junta are now dead.  If the long string of murders of political opponents including a well-known and iconic figure like Oles Buzina shocked *nobody* (least of all the millions of European “Charlies”!) then probably nothing will.  Furthermore, there are no signs of another “Maidan” which could topple the junta.  Yes, there are protests here and there, but nothing which could seriously threaten the regime.  To the contrary, all the signs are indicating that the US is holding the Ukraine in a very firm grip and that the predictable US plan is to restart a full scale war between the Nazi-occupied Ukraine and Novorussia with the option to involve Russia (which has been the plan all along).

The regime is clearly “going for broke” and not even pretending to solve any of the innumerable problems of Nazi-occupied Ukraine.  Both Poroshenko and the Ukie Rada, apparently, are spending all their time and efforts into further provoking Russia, by seriously discussing a law to nationalize all Russian assets in the Ukraine, re-writing history books, adopting resolutions saying that Russia has invaded the Ukraine, etc.  Nazi death squads, now trained by the USA, are now supposedly crucifying and burning “separatists” alive, while the US Gauleiter in Kiev tweets photos of Russian air defense system taking in Moscow in 2013, as proof of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

In the meantime, the US is doing exactly what it always does: it sends in US forces to train local death squads while building a “coalition of the willing” (US+UK+Canada+Poland), to do with no form of mandate or permission, that which it could not get approved legally (by the UN or even by NATO!).  It appears that the debate inside the US “deep state” about the risks of the current strategy is over and that the Neocons have prevailed.

In practical terms this means that we are back to “square 1″: the question is now “can Novorussia withstand the Nazi onslaught alone with only the help of the “Voentorg” and “Northern Wind” or will Russia be forced to intervene?

Honestly?  I don’t know.  And neither does anybody else.

By all accounts, the junta forces have become better but so have the Novorussians.  Zakharchenko has announced that the recent voluntary mobilization was successful at 110% of the expected, which sounds very good, in particular with only volunteers, but it does not really tell us if Novorussia will have the 100’000 men under arms, by June, as was promised by the same Zakharchenko.  Also, there appears to be a lack of equipment for such a large force, but then again, judging by what happened earlier this winter, we can expect the Russian Voentorg to fully open it’s spigot, as soon as the Russian intelligence services conclude that an Nazi attack is inevitable.

Now, let’s be honest here, the “military aid” offered by the “USUKCNDPL” coalition, is bordering on useless, as is the gear shipped so far, to the the junta forces.  This “assistance” is much more about appearing to be doing something grand than actually getting anything done.  Not only does it take a lot of time to train any force, (un-)natural selection has done a much better job than any US “advisor” to increase the quality of the junta forces.  Still, the advantage in morale and tactical skills should remain on the Novorussian side.

Always keep in mind that the real goal of the next Ukronazi offensive will not be to defeat Novorussia, but to pull Russia in and then be defeated by Russia. Such a defeat at the hands of the Russian military will probably provide NATO with a justification for its existence for the next 50 years and completely crush any European desires to rid itself from the EU’s current status of “voiceless US colony”.  Should that happen, the much awaited “new Cold War” will be again in full swing, the US military-industrial complex in complete bliss and the US population suitably “re-terrified” by the next “global enemy”.

There are some indications that more and more European politicians are beginning to understand the risks, but they are too weak to meaningfully oppose the AngloZionist hegemony.

Having a war in Europe on a regular basis has always been the linchpin of British foreign policy and this “tradition” has been fully passed on to the US “successor empire” (which immensely benefited from both WWI and WWII).  What the Americans want is plainly simple: a major war in Europe, but also one contained to Europe.

War therefore appears to be inevitable.  How big it will be now only depends on women and men defending Novorussia against the Ukronazis.

The Saker

The Federal Reserve: Part IV – The Bankers Strike Bank

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2015/04/20/the-federal-reserve-part-iv-the-bankers-strike-bank/

Volcker Paul - 1

Paul Volcker Former Fed Chairman

The entire theory of how to manage an economy via the rise and fall of the money supply being the sole cause of inflation or deflation was discredited post-1971 with the birth of the Floating Exchange Rate System. Unbeknownst to the vast majority, the entire accounting system of trade had been constructed upon the Bretton Woods system. There was no need to actually count the number of Toyota cars coming in at the dock, for all you had to do was count the dollars in and out and under a fixed exchange rate system, this meant more or less goods. However, this short cut made sense with fixed exchange rates, not when currency fluctuated.

The 1970s produced rising prices (inflation) but declining economic growth, which became known as STAGFLATION. This was a cost-push type inflation whereas OPEC sent oil prices soaring so the costs rose dramatically forcing prices to rise even in recession. Therefore, it became possible for inflation to rise without an increase in money supply or even consumer demand. The consumer post-1976 responded by purchasing goods now to save money tomorrow, much as the consumer rise in spending in Tokyo ahead of the implementation of taxes. Likewise, real estate sales will typically rise when the consumer begins to see mortgages rates rising, not falling. The consumer responds to the trend in motion.

Raising interest rates to fight a mixed type of inflation only sent the government spending into hyper-drive because it was on automatic pilot. Congress was expecting the Fed to control inflation, but meanwhile, government budgets increased per department for they had been indexed to the CPI. President Jimmy Carter required the adoption of Zero-Base Budgeting (ZBB) by the federal government during the late 1970s. Zero-Base Budgeting was an executive branch budget formulation process, introduced into the federal government in 1977. Volcker tried his best, but all he could do is stop the consumer speculation. He had himself delivered a lecture in 1978 he entitled the Rediscovery of the Business Cycle.

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No longer were departments required to send in a budget each year and have it approved by Congress. This new Zero-Base Budgeting process meant that whatever they spent the previous year would be automatically renewed, indexed to inflation. This further created the now standard practice of wastefully spending whatever they had remaining just to avoid cuts the following year.

The entire landscape was altered in how government now fit into the economy. It became impossible for the Fed to control inflation. As you can see, despite the recession 1974-1976 and 1981-1985, both the CPI and money supply kept rising. There was a total disconnect from the traditional economic theories and the view that the Fed was in the driver seat was just not realistic. The entire fate of the economy was not on a new paradigm of economic interaction.

Gcnynf-y

This would be a leading cause of the 19-year decline in gold and the complete discrediting of the old-world view of inflation and money supply punctuated by the claim that paper money was fiat. The floating exchange rate system ended the concept that money had to be tangible, freeing it to move according to the worth of the people and their total productive capacity. This changed everything and then Carter’s Zero-Base Budgeting created an automatic pilot process that nobody understood just how it would alter the behavior of whole departments. It was Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand inside government – spend it or lose it.

The global economy was changing and taking a giant leap forward in economic reality. This decoupling of money from the concept of a barter system where it had to be some object between two other objects, Japan soared to the second largest economy in the world without old or natural resources. They proved the new era was here – the dawn of money that reflected the capacity of the people to produce distinguished skills and educated society from those that were still primitive. This also had a profound impact upon the commodity industry and its take over of Wall Street that began precisely with the ECM peak of the 51.6 year wave 1981.35.

Phibro-logo

The company known at first as Philipp Brothers was founded in 1901. It was later acquired and became the Philipp Brothers Division of Engelhard Minerals & Chemicals Corporation, the major gold refinery of 1967. In 1981, the company was spun off as Phibro Corporation, and that same year the company subsequently acquired Salomon Brothers, creating Phibro-Salomon Inc. Phibro Energy, Inc. was established in 1984, absorbing the oil department of Philipp Brothers. There was a rather famous connection between Marc Rich (1934 – 2013) and PhiBro. Rich once worked for Philipp Brothers, but left the firm in 1974 to set up a Swiss operation known as Marc Rich & Co. AG, which would later become Glencore Xstrata Plc. Rich was indicted for tax evasion and never returned to the USA, staying in Switzerland. Bill Clinton not only repealed Glass Steagall for Goldman Sachs, he also granted Marc Rich a controversial pardon.

In 1981, commodity trading firm Phibro Corporation acquired Salomon Brothers, which was founded in 1910 by three brothers along with a clerk named Ben Levy. In 1978, John Gutfreund rose as the head of Salomon Brothers, which had remained a partnership. Gutfreund was now selling the firm to the huge commodity firm Philips Brothers of Marc Rich fame, known as Phibro on the street. This takeover was right in line with the major high on the Public Wave that peaked at 1981.35.

PhiBro were great traders coming from the commodity markets. They had conquered the world in 1980, shorting gold and silver, and thus were now trying to buy Salomon Brothers when they were at the top of their cycle. Gutfreund became a co-CEO with Phibro’s David Tendler. The currency swing following 1981 was dramatic from a percentage basis. Neither PhiBro nor Salomon Brothers comprehended what was going on internationally regarding capital flows. They got caught in this new pendulum swing with extremely high volatility. The commodities crashed and burned, and the tables were turning. This shifted the profit base from PhiBro now to Salomon Brothers. Gutfreund now seized control and started to expand the firm into the currency trading, and enlarged the firm’s positions in underwriting and share trading. Salomon Brothers was now also trying to expand into Japan, as well as Germany and Switzerland.

The firm that had risen to such heights, known as the “King of Wall Street” saw its profits peak precisely with the 1985 turn in the Economic Confidence Model at about a half-billion dollars. The markets all turned in 1985 with the dollar crashing, commodities starting to rise and the stock market exploding. The fixed income specialists at Salomon Brothers were now in a bear market. Salomon had expanded right at the top in 1985. They had increased their staff by 40%. So as it was, PhiBro’s turn at the 1981 turning point, it was now Salomon’s turn with the 1985 target.

Salomon Brothers was the powerhouse of Wall Street banking – the bond dealer extraordinaire. It was founded by three brothers: Arthur, Herbert and Percy Salomon. The brothers began with $5,000, and some help from their father’s (a broker himself) clerk, and opened their first money brokerage office on Broadway near Wall Street. They made their fortune selling US debt during World War I. Unlike Goldman Sachs, Salomon Brothers were conservative and weathered the Great Depression rather well, avoiding getting caught up in all the speculation of a permanent new era.

Under the new leadership of the family’s next generation, William (Billy) Salomon, the firm expanded its operations in the 1960s, adding a research department, which included the infamous economist Henry Kaufman. They expanded into underwriting activities and block trading joining Lehman Brothers, Blythe, and Merril Lynch in the field of Investment Banking where they became known as the ‘Fearsome Foursome’.
Gutfreund-John-2

John Gutfreund joined Salomon as a statistics trainee in the mid-1950s, and per request of Billy Salomon, Gutfreund became his golf partner. It was this friendship that allowed Gutfreund to quickly climb the corporate ladder at Salomon Brothers. He was named partner at the young age of 34, and then took over the firm at 49 becoming the CEO.

According to Michael Lewis’ Liar’s Poker, Gutfreund was known to tell his employees “a trader needs to wake up every morning ready to bite the ass of a bear.” The arrogance was astonishing. The power clearly went to their heads for the famous line from Lewis’s book that lives on, was what they called themselves – “big swinging dicks.” Yet the idea of creating first private mortgage backed security actually began there at Salomon Brothers during the 1980’s.

Solomon Bros Bonfire of Vanities

This was the era of the Bonfire of the Vanities, a 1987 novel by Tom Wolfe, which captured the decline in ethics and morals in New York City at the time. The competition between Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers was always there. Goldman was not part of the ‘Fearsome Foursome’ but was determined to break back into the center of the era.

When PhiBro and Salomon were joining at the hip, Goldman began looking around to follow in the footsteps of this merger. They too wanted commodity exposure and bought the trading house of J. Aron that was clearly a competitive move given the Salomon Brothers merger with Philips Brothers. J. Aron was an old commodity house that began in New Orleans in 1898; it moved to New York City in 1910, just in time for the commodity boom with World War I. The firm was named after Jack Aron, who was part of the Jewish community. J. Aron expanded into the metals trade during the late 1960s after gold became a free market in London and the official line was that there was now a two-tier pricing in gold as of 1968. During the 21.5 year commodity boom, J. Aron rose from a capitalization of less than $500,000 in the late 1960’s to $100 million by the peak in 1981. By the peak, J. Aron had become the largest trader in gold doing more volume in dollars than the biggest of any of the Dow stocks.

Being a commodity firm, J. Aron was actively trading currency futures that the
banks did not understand. They were the first to arbitrage the currency futures against the cash currency markets, for the commercial banks back then did not understand the markets, but had to provide that service to keep commercial clients.

Aron’s business in precious metals helped to bring in market-share. This is the beginning of gold lending. Banks holding gold would start to lend it to J. Aron at 0.5%. This business was starting to explode. After the 1980 Commodity Boom, everyone expected it to rebound and keep going. Oil hit $40 and gold $875. Everyone wanted to become a commodity trader for the Dow Jones had kept bouncing off 1,000 so why not go where the action was.

It was October 1981 when Goldman Sachs purchased J. Aron & Co. for $135 million. It was in fact on the top of the commodity market. Although they had bought the high, they were importing the commodity culture of trading that would in fact lead to the firm’s trading reputation. Its current head, Lloyd C. Blankfein, came from J. Aron and has now focused Goldman Sachs as a mean, lean, trading machine.

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Fowler Sec Treas

The competition between these two Jewish firms fueled Wall Street’s evolution. Leading up to 1980, Sidney Weinberg (1891-1969) at Goldman Sachs brought in his heir that perhaps began the desire to cultivate contacts within government. In 1968 Henry Fowler (1908-2000), former Secretary of Treasury, was recruited. It was Fowler who opened those political doors in a host of different nations, however it was Gus Levy (1910-1976) who was the aggressive one, pushing the firm into taxable bond dealing expanding from commercial paper. From 1969, Goldman Sachs now moved into the bond market.

Salomon Brothers was taking market share away from Goldman Sachs. The decision to get back into proprietary trading appears to have been from Steve Friedman and Robert Rubin to be competitive with Salomon. Goldman Sachs was still hesitant sitting, to a large extent, watching trading profits grow at Salomon, and that was the trend at Morgan Stanley, First Boston, and of course Merrill Lynch.

The October 1981 takeover by Goldman Sachs of J. Aron & Co. altered the culture within the firm. From that point onward, Goldman would also drift toward becoming a lean, mean, trading machine bent on proprietary trading.

1987-Crash-D1

The 1987 Crash hit Salomon Brothers where it hurt. Traders scalping markets never see the big changes in trend until it hits them in the face. Warren Buffett now enters the scene; Salomon turned to Warren Buffet to inject $700 million. Their traders lost big time. Buffet wrote in that year’s letter to his investors:

“By far our largest – and most publicized – investment in 1987 was a $700 million purchase of Salomon Inc. 9% preferred stock. This preferred is convertible after three years into Salomon common stock at $38 per share and, if not converted, will be redeemed ratably over five years beginning October 31, 1995. From most standpoints, this commitment fits into the medium-term fixed-income securities category. In addition, we have an interesting conversion possibility.”

See Chairman’s letter

That investment turned into a long relationship full of ups and downs, but it also saw Buffett turn into the commodity game of manipulation and wild trading. At first, he assumed it would be his typical classic Buffett play. Sunday, Sept. 27, 1987, Buffett met with John Gutfreund, then Salomon’s chairman and CEO, and agreed that Berkshire Hathaway would buy $700 million of Salomon convertible preferred stock, which equated to a 12% stake in the company. Buffett invested in what appeared to be a solid company with a good reputation that was getting its stock slapped around by a fearful market following 1987. Buffet would later say, “Be fearful when others are greedy; be greedy when others are fearful.”

Buffet quickly found himself in the midst of turbulent trading where he was not accustomed to really valuing speculative positions on a trading desk. Within weeks, Buffett was stunned by Salomon’s sudden surprise disclosure of a $70 million write-down from bad bets made by trading junk bonds. That hidden trading loss wiped out one-third of Mr. Buffett’s investment.

Salomon was not alone. Kidder Peabody also starting with the 1987 Crash was plagued by scandals, including insider-trading cases involving head of mergers Martin Siegel, head of arbitrage Richard Wigton (charges were later dropped) and trader Joseph Jett. While a judge originally found Mr. Jett not guilty of securities fraud, in 2004 the SEC reversed that decision and upheld the charges. In 1994, parent company General Electric sold Kidder to Paine Webber for $70 million.

Meriwether-Mozer

This trading atmosphere of “big swinging dicks” had not learned its lesson from the 1987 Crash. This was the culture instilled by PhiBro from the commodity side of the world. Trader Paul Mozer, who had a 12-year career at the firm coming from Morgan Stanley, allegedly submitted illegal bids for U.S. treasury securities in August of 1990, attempting to corner the market by purchasing more than the 35% share allowed per individual transaction. Yet, what he eventually plead guilty to was based on only two transactions in the five-year notes on February 21, 1991 for $6 billion, which was $2 billion more than the bank was allowed to buy. The plea did not match the events.

Other Salomon employees would later tell the NY Times they were shocked: 

“This was not driven by personal gain, if this is true. There’s a game here. And it was a desire to win the game.” Mozer’s supervisor, John Meriwether who started and blew up Long-Term Capital Management in 1998 requiring a Fed bailout his hedge fund with a position of nearly $100 billion. Meriwether, at the time in Salomon, claimed to have chastised Mozer for the manipulation when it came to his attention, but he did not fire Mozer raising serious questions about the trading culture overall inside Salomon Brothers.

Shortly before the Salomon Bros. scandal erupted, Paul W. Mozer must have been aware that the Treasury knew about the trade and there would be ramifications. Before the announcement by Salomon Brothers on August 9th, 1991, Mozer then sold about $1.7 million worth of Salomon stock, which was about 46,000 shares, confirmed by the firm. The government froze the funds for it smelled like insider trading in the real sense.

Salomon Brothers and Mr. Mozer’s lawyer said that Mr. Mozer had offered to reverse or rescind the sale. Salomon’s stock price sank sharply after the scandal was revealed. Mozer’s lawyer denied that any violation of insider trading laws had occurred. To this day, Paul Mozer is entirely omitted from Wikipedia – very strange – and it tends to suggest that he was by no means acting alone.

The President of the NY Federal Reserve at that time was NOT in the pocket of the bankers. The Fed sent a letter that was pointed and demanding. The letter was signed by an executive vice president of the bank, but it was clear, Edward Gerald Corrigan (born 1941), was pissed off and stood behind every word. Corrigan by then knew enough to become incensed by these schemes on his watch. The letter said that Salomon’s bidding “irregularities” called into question its “continuing business relationship” with the Fed and pronounced the Fed “deeply troubled” by the failure of Salomon’s management to make a timely disclosure of what it had learned about Mozer. Corrigan demanded a comprehensive report within ten days of all “irregularities, violations, and oversights” Salomon knew to have occurred. The real interesting factor that demonstrated the more-likely-than-not involvement of everyone right up to Gutfreund was the fact that Gutfreund failed to inform the Board of Directors, including Buffett, that the Fed had even sent such a letter.

John H. Gutfreund, Salomon’s chief executive; Thomas W. Strauss, the firm’s president; and John W. Meriwether, the vice chairman, were all forced to resign after Salomon disclosed it made a series of improper bids at several Treasury auctions. All three executives were told of Mr. Mozer’s illegal bids, but they waited months before relaying the information to the Treasury Department. It was at least plausible that this was just part of the “big swinging dicks” culture at Salomon where anything goes.

Paul Mozer, the alleged central figure in the Salomon Brothers Treasury bond scandal, first agreed to a plea deal on January 8th, 1993. Then the plea deal fell apart on January 12th, suggesting he was really unwilling to take the fall for everyone. Mozer finally pled guilty after being greatly reduced. He told U.S. District Judge Pierre N. Leval on Thursday, October 1st, 1993, that he made false statements to the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Board investigators. Mozer faced a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.  Mozer then entered a cooperation agreement to rat on Wall Street, and what really went on in Salomon Brothers resulting in the resignations. Mozer was sentenced to only 4 months of probation. At sentencing, his lawyer told the court that Mozer had provided extensive information about the practice of “illegal manipulation of the Treasury bond market that led to investigations of Salomon, Goldman Sachs, Daiwa Securities and several Japanese investors”. (see Assassociated Press December 14th, 1993)

Salomon Brothers was fined $290 million for this infraction. The firm was weakened by the scandal and August 18th, 1991, the U.S. Treasury first banned Salomon from bidding in government securities auctions. It was then that Warren Buffet appears again, offering to take the helm. The Treasury agreed and rescinded the ban. In the four hours of suspense between the two actions, Buffett struggled passionately to protect his investment for the firm, valued at $9 billion, which would have been out of business and most likely would have had to file immediately to file for bankruptcy. That action also seemed to reflect that Mozer was a fall guy, and the problem was the culture at the firm – not one individual. This is probably why there is no Wikipedia page on Mozer – very strange.

Salomon was deeply involved in the bond trading scandal from top to bottom. The firm was nearly forced to file for bankruptcy as clients fled based on the rumors the Treasury would shut them down. In order to protect his investment, Mr. Buffett went from being a passive investor to the Chairman of the firm. He found that every dollar of shareholder equity was supporting $37 of assets. That is even higher than the 30:1 leverage ratio at Lehman Brothers when it collapsed.

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Mr. Buffett became Chairman of Salomon Brothers and ran the firm for nine months. He later claims that his time there was “far from fun” in a letter to investors in his Berkshire Hathaway holding company. However, Buffett was somehow converted to the culture. The first time his name was being bantered around associated with a silver manipulation was 1993. The CFTC walked into PhiBro and demanded to know who their client was. PhiBro refused to tell them and the CFTC ordered them to exit the position.

In 1997, Salomon was sold to Travelers for $9 billion. Yet strangely enough, the sigh of relief could be heard all the way from Mr. Buffett’s hometown of Omaha. His $700 million investment was now worth $1.7 billion, but the experience seemed to sour him on Wall Street deals. By 2001, he had exited his investment in the firm.

SV1997-W 1997 Buffet Manipulation

Buffett’s name was again bantered around 1997 with regard to silver. Once again, the player involved was PhiBro. People judge others by themselves. As a result, the NY crowd began to realize that I was always on the other side of the classic failures. Instead of considering that perhaps our model was better than what they could produce with all their machinations, they took the position that our firm was just too influential. I had testified before Congress in 1996 and we did have about half the equivalent of the US national debt under contract for corporate advisory. They translated that into influence and assumed their failures were my successes since 1987, and that was simply due to influence.

Based upon this view of influence, they desperately tried to get me to join the second silver manipulation with Buffet. I have written statements publicly that PhiBro’s brokers walked across the COMEX pit floor and showed my floor brokers Buffett’s orders and told me to join. They knew I would never trust these people, for how would I know I was not the patsy to buy and they would use another seller on the other side of the ring. I would never join them. Hence, PhiBro showed me the orders to convince me to join.

NYSILV-D 4-3-1997

Silver-Trade

So why did PhiBro show me the orders? Yes, I was a big trader looking for the low in 1999. I would often go head to head with them for they traded on manipulation, and I traded by time and price.

In the movie, Barclay Lieb states that before he came to work for me, he called Goldman Sachs and they admitted that they had thought they could “crush” me, but usually I won. The Club was actually planning their manipulation earlier in the year. The cycles were NOT in their favor, so I took them on. They tried their best to manipulate the market but the Wall Street gods were not smiling that day. On April 3rd, 1997, it was I who crushed them – they lost – the floor went nuts. They said they never saw trading like that day. It was like stepping in the ring as a lightweight and knocking out Mike Tyson in one punch. You cannot manipulate against the trend. I proved that standing my ground that day. This was why they then gave up and wanted me to join. Perhaps that first attempt to manipulate silver sent them to solicit Warren Buffett to take me on since in the end, he spent $1 billion to buy silver for that move.

After PhiBro showed me the orders, I then reported to our clients “they are back”, knowing it was Buffet and PhiBro for a second time. They were pissed off at me even though I never mentioned names. The buying of silver was done in London. Therefore, they moved silver out of COMEX warehouses in USA, and shipped them to London to pretend there was a shortage to justify the manipulation. The Wall Street Journal assisted in the rally.

The manipulators with steering the Buffet buying in London to avoid the 1993 problem with the CFTC. This is why AIG trading arm also set up in London.

Buying silver in London justified moving it from the NY COMEX and this allowed them to get the manipulation going. COMEX supplies were reported in isolation. Moving the silver to London created the false image of a shortage to justify the higher prices. The Wall Street Journal was used to plant the story. On September 30th, 1997, the stories played headlines: “Silver Prices Hit Six-Month High On Steadily Decline Reserves,” by PALLAVI GOGOI AP-Dow Jones news service updated September 30th, 1997, 12:01 a.m. ET, New York; “Silver futures surged to a six-month high at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, a move analysts said was triggered by steadily declining warehouse stocks…The rally was boosted by preplaced purchase orders around the $5-per-ounce level…”.

This was the news created for manipulation that was constantly played out in the newspapers. The Wall Street Journal reported again on November 17, 1997: “Silver Future Prices Leap On Hints of Tight Supplies”. On December 4, 1997 the Wall Street Journal from London reported: “Silver Surges on Strength In Supply-Demand Status” By Neil Behrmann; Special to The Wall Street Journal updated December 5, 1997 12:01 a.m. ET LONDON — “Gold may be in the doghouse, but silver is soaring like a bird”. The reporting of shortages continued to fuel the rally. The Wall Street Journal reported again December 24, 1997 for the manipulators: “Silver Futures Advance As Inventories Plunge”.

We kept track of what the “club” was doing and warned our clients whenever their antics were conflicting. One of the big ones that blew the lid off was again silver. In 1997, I warned that silver was going to rise from $4 to $7 between September and January 1998. I was even invited to join them; I told to stop fighting and putting out false forecasts. I declined. Their strategy became insane.

At first, a friend of mine who had been Prime Minister Thatcher’s economic adviser became a board member of AIG in London – Alan Walters. He called one day and asked if he could drop in to Princeton the next morning when he arrived from London. I naturally said, “OK”. To my surprise, he arrived with the head trader from AIG London who then proceeded to try to convince me to stop talking about the manipulations. I told him I would never reveal any names, and the government didn’t care anyway.

Things got insane thereafter. An analyst on the payroll of PhiBro had a main contact at the Wall Street Journal. They decided to slander me and get the press to target me claiming I was trying to manipulate the market. It was an interesting strategy, but one I cared nothing about since I was primarily an institutional and corporate adviser, and they were not really interested in silver.

The journalist from the Wall Street Journal called me. He accused me of this nonsense and we argued. It got quite heated. He said if silver was being manipulated, then I should give him the name. I told him he would not believe me anyway. He demanded the name and so I said fine, go ahead, let me see you print it, knowing he never would. The name I gave him was Warren Buffett. He laughed and told me everyone knew Buffett did not trade commodities; I told him that was how much he knew.

The Wall Street Journal published the article. The London newspapers were fed stories by “the club” that I was now the largest silver trader in the world. This became all a joke to me. Even the CFTC could look at positions and knew I was not a big player in silver on that move.

The mistake made by “the club” by turning out the press against me, was they actually created such a worldwide story that the CFTC was forced to call me. They knew I was not the source. They asked me, where was the manipulation taking place? I told them it was in London, out of their jurisdiction. They told me that they could pick up the phone and find out. I told them that they had to make that clear decision. I hung up. Never did I expect that they would really do anything.

A few hours later, my phone rang. It was a good source in London, who also was helping to monitor “the club” actions. He told me that the Bank of England had called an immediate meeting of all silver brokers in London in the morning. I was shocked. The CFTC had made the call, but then again, I had given them no names so perhaps in their mind, this was fair game.

Within the hour, Warren Buffett made a press announcement. He admitted he had purchased $1 billion worth of silver in London. He denied that he was manipulating the market, claiming the silver was a long-term investment. Everyone was shocked that Buffett was suddenly exposed as a commodity trader after all, the next day the Wall Street Journal called me. The writer asked – “How did you know?” I told him it was my job to know! Silver thereafter declined and made new lows going into 1999. So much for the long-term investment.

The time line of this head-to-head confrontation was AFTER the Treasury Scandal of 1991. Clearly, Buffett developed some relationship with PhiBro. In 1993, Phibro Energy, Inc. became the Phibro Energy Division of Salomon Inc. It was renamed to simply “Phibro” in 1996, and in 1997 Salomon was acquired by Travelers Group, which then merged with Citicorp to form Citigroup in 1998. With the merger, Salomon became an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Citigroup. So obviously, the silver play was in the fall of 1997.

Phibro came to the notice of the general public only when its leader, Andrew J. Hall reportedly was seeking a $100 million bonus from Citigroup, which had been bailed out by U.S taxpayers in 2009. Reportedly, Phibro was the main source of the $2 billion in pretax revenue Citigroup received in commodities trading. Hall’s position was rather clear. He had nothing to do with the mortgage backed security debacle.

In October 2009, Occidental Petroleum announced it would acquire Phibro from Citigroup, estimating its net investment at approximately $250 million. Phibro is now part of Oxy’s “Midstream, marketing and other segment”, which includes Oxy’s gas plant, pipelines, marketing, trading, and power generation operations. Hall continues to run Phibro and heads Astenbeck Capital Management, of which 80% is owned by Hall and 20% by Occidental.

Reverse Takeover of Government

Glass-Seagall

The repeal of Glass-Steagall Act, also known as the Banking Act of 1933 (48 Stat. 162), was to prevent the very thing that Goldman Sachs was involved in during the Great Depression. The stock in Goldman Sachs Trading Company crashed more than anything falling from $326 to $1.75, it was intended to prohibit commercial banks from engaging in the investment business. It was enacted as an emergency response to the failure of nearly 5,000 banks during the Great Depression. The accusations that Goldman Sachs had engaged in share price manipulation and insider trading contributed to the firm becoming the target of jokes in Vaude­ville.

Friedman - StephenRubin Robert=1

Stephen Friedman and Robert Rubin took over the role of managing Fixed Income where they planned to expand into proprietary trading.

Stephen Friedman and Robert Rubin took over the role of managing fixed income where they planned to expand into proprietary trading. Goldman Sachs moved into quantitative analysis in the late 1970s, relying still on academics. It was Freidman and Rubin who changed the culture creating the trading profit bonus and starting in 1986, Goldman Sachs began to take talent from Salomon offering a huge bonus structure and adopting the trading mentality it now acquired from J. Aron & Co.

In 1986, Goldman Sachs hired Fischer Black of Black–Scholes, famous for valuing
stock options. It was Rubin who brought in Black, and the problem they had was the newly embedded options within debt. However, the issue they did not understand, that they were now walking into, was there is a great language problem between traders and programmers. You MUST be good at both, or you are screwed.

Goldman Sachs, the most profitable firm in Wall Street history, moved its headquarters to a new 43-story skyscraper at 200 West St. in 2010 after almost three decades at 85 Broad St.

Stephen Friedman, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, resigned as Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on May 7, 2009 Friedman was criticized for apparently at least creating an unethical image of benefiting from his role as Chair of the New York Fed branch due to the federal government’s aid to Goldman Sachs in recent months. Amazingly, Friedman remained on the board of Goldman even as he was supposedly regulating Goldman. Like Hank Paulson Secretary of the Treasury, Friedman also applied for, and got, a conflict of interest waiver from the government. Who gives out such waivers is unknown and why they are not done openly in Congress is obvious. Friedman was also supposed to divest himself of his Goldman stock after Goldman became a bank holding company, but thanks to the waiver, he was allowed to go out and buy 52,000 additional shares in his old bank, leaving him $3 million richer. Being exempt from insider trading is a government benefit. Friedman’s eventual resignation announcement came within an hour of the government’s release of the 2009 stress tests for 19 U.S. financial institutions. It was effective immediately.

Goldman Sachs, the very firm who was the worst example from the Great Depression crash, led the charge against the trend to take over government. They installed Robert Rubin under Bill Clinton as Secretary of the Treasury. Ironically, the very firm that inspired Glass-Steagall seized control of Congress with political donations to get it overturned. This began once again the age of Transactional Banking.

 

“Bad Guys’ Pushing THIS WEEK to Promote Global Tyranny Run By Corporations

http://nesaranews.blogspot.com/2015/04/bad-guys-pushing-this-week-to-promote.html#comment-form

Here’s How to STOP Them
The powers-that-be are pushing this week to fast track a horrible treaty which would destroy America.
The treaty is called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The U.S. Trade Representative – the federal agency responsible for negotiating trade treaties – has said that the details of the TPP are classified due to “national security”.
Parts of the TPP won’t be declassified for four years … even if it’s passed:
The TPP Investment Chapter … is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.
Why’s the deal being kept secret? Because it would be impossible to pass if the public knew what was really in it:
Ron Kirk, until recently Mr. Obama’s top trade official, was remarkably candid about why he opposed making the text public: doing so, he suggested to Reuters, would raise such opposition that it could make the deal impossible to sign.
Senator Elizabeth Warren notes:
Supporters of the deal say to me, “They have to be secret, because if the American people knew what was actually in them, they would be opposed.”
But it’s not only being hidden from the American people … it’s being hidden even from most U.S. Congress members.
A Congressman who has seen the text of the treaty says:
There is no national security purpose in keeping this text secret … this agreement hands the sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests.
It would also allow foreign corporations to challenge U.S. laws. It will literally override American law. As the New York Times headlines in Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S.:
Companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.
Ron Paul says that the TPP would erode national sovereignty: 
While it’s falsely called a “trade agreement”, only 5 out of 29 of TPP’s chapters have anything to do with trade. And conservatives point out that even the 5 chapters on trade do not promote free trade. Bloomberg calls TPP a “corporatist power grab”, “as democratic and transparent as a one-party state,” and shrouded in “Big Brother-like secrecy”.
TPP would increase the cost of consumer loans, make prescription drugs more expensive, destroy privacy, harm food safety, let Wall Street run amok, make it illegal to favor local businesses, and – yes – literally act to destroy the sovereignty of the U.S. and the other nations which sign the bill.
A very credible inside source – with a proven track record of access, accuracy, intelligence and dedication to working for our country – tells Washington’s Blog that TPP contains provisions which would severely harm America’s national security. Specifically, like some previous, ill-conceived treaties, TPP would allow foreign companies to buy sensitive American assets which could subject us to terror attacks or economic blackmail.
Huffington Post quotes the New York Times and Wikileaks to explain how the dispute provisions would gut the American legal system:
The WikiLeaks analysis explains that this lets firms “sue” governments to obtain taxpayer compensation for loss of “expected future profits.”
Let that sink in for a moment: “[C]ompanies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals….” And they can collect not just for lost property or seized assets; they can collect if laws or regulations interfere with these giant companies’ ability to collect what they claim are “expected future profits.”
The Times‘ report explains that this clause also “giv[es] greater priority to protecting corporate interests than promoting free trade and competition that benefits consumers.”
The tribunals that adjudicate these cases will be made up of private-sector (i.e., corporate) attorneys. These attorneys will rotate between serving on the tribunals and representing corporations that bring cases to be heard by the tribunals. This is a conflict of interest because the attorneys serving on the tribunals will have tremendous incentive to rule for the corporations if they want to continue to get lucrative corporate business.
***
This ISDS mechanism [“Investor-State Dispute Settlement” tribunals created by TPP] originates from a time when investors in wealthy, developed countries wanted to invest in projects in unstable “third-world,” “banana-republic”-style countries but worried that dictators or revolutionary governments could decide to seize their property — a refinery, railroad or factory — leaving them with no recourse. So before investing, the target country agrees that in the case of disputes, a tribunal is set up outside and beyond the reach of the country’s justice system (courts where the judge is a brother or other crony of the dictator, for example), providing recourse in the event of unjust seizure of property. This would make investment less risky.
However, under agreements like the TPP, these provisions apply to and override the laws of modern, stable, developed countries with democratic governance and fair court systems. The corporate representatives negotiating modern trade agreements see such democratically run governments as “burdensome” and chaotic, introducing “uncertainties” and “interfering” or “meddling” with the corporate order. As one supporter of these ISDS provisions put it, they protect corporations from “the waves of madness that occasionally flit through the population.”
To give an idea of what would happen to American law if TPP passes, just look at Equador … Its courts awarded billions against Chevron for trashing huge swaths of rainforest. But then a private arbitration panel simply ignored the country’s court system. If TPP passes, we’ll be treated like a third world country, and our American laws and courts will be ignored as well.
(Those opposed to a “one world government” or a “new world order” should oppose TPP as the big fight. Conservatives might want to read read this. Remember that one of the best definitions of fascism – the one used by Mussolini – is the “merger of state and corporate power”. TPP a giant step in that direction.)
The backers of TPP – including Obama and many in Congress – are trying to approve a “fast track” procedure this week that would prevent Congress from having any real input into the agreement, or to even have the opportunity to debate what should be in the agreement.
But the treaty is so bad, that if we just defeat the attempt to fast-track it, it will die a natural death as soon as it’s made public … and Congress has to engage in serious debate on the horrible agreement, and answer to its angry constituents.
The American people are already strongly opposed to TPP, and are disgusted by the proposed fast-tracking of the TPP vote. But we have to let our Congress members’ know how we feel on this.
We’ve stopped other bad trade bills … and we can stop this one.
Make your voice heard and tell Congress NO to TPP!

SENATORS SCHEME TO IMPORT MORE FOREIGN WORKERS Top CEOs, mayors in secret meeting to push Rubio’s ‘job-crushing’ legislation

http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/senators-scheme-to-import-more-foreign-workers/#R9qorVKxAvGmWd1B.99

A group of business leaders and progressive mayors is hosting a closed-door meeting in Washington today, pushing for a big increase in the number of foreign “guest workers” allowed into the United States to fill skilled positions.
The lobbying group, Partnership for a New American Economy, includes CEOs from Disney, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Marriott International among others, along with liberal mayors and former mayors like Julian Castro of San Antonio, Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Michael Bloomberg of New York City.
A complete roster of PNAE’s membership rolls can be viewed on its website.
The main issue to be discussed at the secret meeting is how to gain passage of the I-Squared bill sitting in the U.S. Senate, co-sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Orin Hatch, R-Utah, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Chris Coons, D-Del., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
The I-Squared bill would more than double the number of H-1B work visas handed out to foreigners with a bachelor’s degree or higher in a STEM field. The U.S. currently allows 65,000 of these visas per year but the corporate lobby is pushing Congress to up that number to at least 115,000 and possibly as high as 200,000, claiming there is a shortage of American tech workers with STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering and math).
They say increasing the allotment of H1-B workers coming into the country from places like China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey, Yemen and Saudi Arabia would jump-start economic growth.
Opponents of I-Squared say the entire argument of this lobbying group is built around a false narrative. Groups such as the Center for Immigration Studies and the Economic Policy Institute point to statistics that show roughly half of Americans who graduate with STEM degrees have been unable to find work in a STEM field because there is already a glut of STEM workers. This is underscored by another stark trend – the utter lack of wage increases among tech workers over the past 10 years.
WND reported in depth on the H1-B worker scam last month.
Secret meeting on Capitol Hill today
According to a brochure obtained by WND, Friday’s lobbying event is co-sponsored by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Business Roundtable, the Council for Global Immigration, FWD.us, HR Policy Association, Information Technology Industry Council, National Association of Manufacturers, National Venture Capital Association, Semiconductor Industry Association, Society of Human Resources Management, and TechNet.
The brochure says the lobbying “briefing,” which includes lunch, is “closed to the press.” It was slated to begin at 11 a.m. Friday in the Senate Visitor’s Center Room 212-10. The title of the event is: “Understanding and Improving the High-Skilled H-1B Visa Program.”
The companion to the Senate I-Squared bill is the SKILLS Visa Act in the House, sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. and co-sponsored by 22 congressmen.
Also included as part of the legislation is a measure to grant work permits to spouses of the H1-B visa holders.
Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, recently authored a study of the H1B guest-worker program and concluded there is no shortage of STEM workers in America. Quite the opposite, in fact.
“In 2012, there were more than twice as many people with STEM degrees (immigrant and native) as there were STEM jobs — 5.3 million STEM jobs vs. 12.1 million with STEM degrees,” Camarota said. “Only one-third of natives who have a STEM degree and hold a job do so in a STEM occupation.”
In fact, as Camarota explains it, the “skilled-labor shortage” argument is little more than a con game waged on Congress and the American public by corporate interests seeking to further their goal of open borders or what they call “labor mobility.”
Among the most impassioned proponents of this strategy are Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, and Marco Rubio, the Florida senator. Both have announced they are running for president on the Republican ticket.
Bush, in an interview with Thane Rosenbaum, said America’s best chance to rejuvenate itself and get back on the path of sustained economic growth lies with increased immigration. He calls for unlimited growth in guest-worker visas and is critical of the “border security first” approach to immigration.
Rubio, while trying to paint himself as a hawk on “border security,” sources on Capitol Hill say he has been working behind the scenes to increase legal pathways into the country for more immigrants. The I-Squared bill is one example.
One source on Capitol Hill told WND that many congressmen are sold on the merits of such anti-American worker bills as I-Squared by their staffs. If they push these bills, staff members can look forward to a lucrative corporate job when they leave Capitol Hill.
In contrast, there is nothing to be gained by listening to experts such as professors Ron Hira of Howard University and Hal Salzman of Rutgers, both of whom testified at a Senate hearing last month on the H1-B program. They explained how the program started out with laudable goals of meeting real shortages in certain skilled positions. Those shortages have long since been solved, with universities churning out scores of STEM graduates, and now the program is being abused by corporate leaders who see the program as a way to further drive down wages. Some companies such as South California Edison and Northeastern Utilities have even had American workers train their own H1-B replacements.
In the SoCal Edison case, about 500 American workers earning $110,000 per year were replaced by foreign H1-B visa holders who will do the same job for $70,000.
Exploiting loopholes
Hira, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute and a professor of public policy at Howard University, told a Senate panel last month the H1-B guest-worker program has evolved into a highly profitable business model of bringing in cheaper H1-B workers to replace American workers.
In explaining the H1-B rules, he said the U.S. Department of Labor clearly states that the hiring of a foreign worker “will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers comparably employed.”
“That’s a direct quote from the website that describes the H1-B program to employers. The reality is, that in fact the intent of the law is not being met,” he said. “The recent replacement of 500 American IT workers at Southern California Edison shows that this intent is clearly not being met and that U.S. workers are clearly getting adverse effects in terms of their wages and working conditions.”
The corporations are able to get around the H1-B requirements of recruiting Americans first because rules are waived for jobs paying at least $60,000 or if the foreign worker has a master’s degree
Co-Chairs of the Partnership for a New American Economy are:
  • Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and billionaire founder of Bloomberg news.
  • Steven A. Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team.
  • J.W. Marriott Jr., chairman and CEO of Marriott International.
  • Julian Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, one of the first cities to pass controversial “anti discrimination” laws that forbid businesses from saying or doing anything deemed discriminatory against the LGBT community.  President Obama appointed him last year to head the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. He is the brother of Rep. Joachin Castro, D-Texas.
  • Bob Iger, chairman, CEO of Walt Disney Co.
  • Rupert Murdoch, chairman, founder of Newscorp, owner of Fox News network.
  • Michael Nutter, Democrat mayor of Philadelphia.
  • Jim McNerney, Chairman CEO of Boeing.
Another point of contention with the H1-B visa program is the security risk. Critics say workers coming in from Muslim countries with large radicalized populations such as Iran, Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, are only lightly screened and may wish to harm Americans. The U.S. record of screening immigrants is not good, as scores of terrorists or terrorist sympathizers have slipped through in recent years, even in the State Department’s refugee resettlement program, which the government claims is the most highly scrutinized of all immigrant categories.
The employer-based immigration programs, including H1-B and L-1B visas, are basically “rubber stamped,” from a security standpoint, said Jessica Vaughn, director of policy research at Center for Immigration Studies.
The U.S. is currently allowing about 100,000 immigrants per year to enter from Islamic countries, including refugees and those on student visas and employer-based visas, according to the CIS study.
The H1-B visa is good for three years and can be renewed one time for a total of six years. It can eventually lead to a permanent green card.

IMF Magic Number 7, The Shemitah & September Collapse — Bix Weir

from SGT Report.com:

Bix Weir, founder of Road to Roota is back – and stay tuned until the very end for a special surprise from Bix.

JP Morgan is acquiring physical silver in staggering amounts. According to Ted Butler’s research, JPM is still short on the Comex (to drive paper prices down) but they are massively long on PHYSICAL silver to the tune of roughly 350 MILLION OUNCES which JPM has taken delivery of over the recent past. Bix says, “Don’t forget they are the custodian of the SLV silver etf. It might also be that they have been ponying up false numbers in SLV and are having to load up the coffers because something very big is coming down the line.”

Our conversation soon turns to Christine Lagarde, her magic number 7 speech and the seven year cycle of the Shemitah.

Bix says, “We’ve got to remember who runs this financial system and who has the power to pull the plug. And it is these elite bankers such as Christine Lagarde. And obviously her speech about the magic number 7 was eluding to the Shemitah and the 7-year cycle… But this year the Shemitah is the seventh 7-year cycle so it’s an even bigger one, and according to the powers that be in the Jewish religion, this is the year of jubilee where all debts are forgiven… they could very easily pull the plug right around that time of September of 2015, so that’s the reason to look out for this coming September and for other reasons.”

Saturday Briefs 4/25/2015

Germany Prepares For “Plan B”, Says Greece Would “Need Not Only A Third Bailout, But Fourth, Fifth Or Even More”

It has been a very disturbing 24 hours for Greece.

40 Days: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000
According to the Daily Treasury Statement for Wednesday, April 22, which was published by the U.S. Treasury on Thursday, April 23, that portion of the federal debt that is subject to a legal limit set by Congress closed the day at $18,112,975,000,000—for the 40th day in a row.

Report: JP Morgan Chase Prepares For Crisis By Stockpiling Silver: “An Exceptionally Large Amount”

by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:  In a communication with JP Morgan Chase shareholders earlier this month Jamie Dimon, CEO of one of the world’s largest and most influential banks, said that a more volatile crisis than 2008 is coming.  It was striking admission from a man who has close ties to the Obama inner circle and was once at the top of the list for the post of U.S. Treasury Secretary. Considering the President continues to tout economic recovery, and that a significant majority of Americans reportedly believe the economy is healthy, the fact that Dimon is warning of another financial crisis should be a clear sign of what’s to come.

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

Gold, The SDR, & BRICS

It would appear the era of the dollar’s global domination as a reserve currency is coming to an end, and the stage is now being set for gold to be officially accepted as the ultimate reserve money once again, this time by the next generation of advanced nations.

The “War On Cash” Migrates To Switzerland

It is undoubtedly a huge red flag when in one of the countries considered to be a member of the “highest economic freedom in the world” club, commercial banks are suddenly refusing their customers access to their cash. This money doesn’t belong to the banks, and it doesn’t belong to the central bank either. If this can happen in prosperous Switzerland, based on some nebulous notion of the “collective good”, which its unelected central planners can arbitrarily determine and base decisions upon, it can probably happen anywhere. Consider yourself warned.

US May Use Cyberattacks As Offensive Weapon, DoD Says

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.

2000x Normal Radiation Found In Tokyo Playground, Officials Deny Any Link To Fukushima

When a specially-designed robot dies within 3 hours of being exposed to Fukushima’s radiation, it is clear something is not quite as propagandized in Japan; and today, as SCMP reports, extremely high levels of radiation have been discovered in a children’s playground in Tokyo. While two hours of exposure to a child would be equivalent to the maximum does allowable in a year, Japanese officials say they do not think it is connected to the disaster at Fukushima. We are not sure whether that is supposed to reassure or terrorize locals?

Russia and Argentina agree framework energy deals

Russia and Argentina have signed a series of framework agreements on economic and energy co-operation following talks in Moscow. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Russian leader Vladimir Putin hailed their co-operation as a “comprehensive strategic partnership”. The agreements include Russian investment in a hydroelectric plant and a nuclear power plant in Argentina.

Is the U.S. a Force for Good in the World?

from Washington’s Blog:  First of all, in terms of popularity worldwide, the U.S. is a mixed picture. A Gallup International poll of 65 countries, issued on 30 December 2013, found that: “The US was the overwhelming choice (24% of respondents) for the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today. This was followed by Pakistan (8%), China (6%), North Korea, Israel and Iran (5%). Respondents in Russia (54%), China (49%) and Bosnia (49%) were the most fearful of the US as a threat.” (Some of the reasons why America is considered, by people throughout the world, to be the biggest threat to peace, will be documented below.)

Read More @ WashingtonsBlog.com

Steve St. Angelo | Silver, Shale, September – It’s Gonna Get Ugly

from The Daily Coin:

Does anyone believe the current gas prices are going to stay this low for much longer? Well, if you do, you may want to listen to what Steve St. Angelo from SRSrocco Report has to say. Shale is failing and will be on it’s last leg within the next 5 years and just about dried up completely within 10 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6QI_DS-6fM

“The US shale gas industry is a commercial failure”. The US set up 35,700 drills, Russia set up 8,000 drills and Saudi Arabia 399. The US produces 11.7mm barrels of oil per day, Russia produces 10.9mm barrels per day and Saudi Arabia 11.4mm barrels per day. That’s a lot of more work for, basically, the same amount of production. That’s a lot more resources for, basically, the same volume of production. To be sure the US did produce more by-products, such natural gas liquids, condensate which is similar to gasoline. “We could see a significant fall by 2020-2025.”

Read More @ TheDailyCoin.org

Financial Mania Strikes Back

from Wolf Street:  Well, maybe Amazon is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but that doesn’t explain how it gained $25 billion of market cap overnight after reporting another loosing quarter. Give all the credit you want to its web services business—a newly disclosed but decade old operation with scads of competent competitors and which sports a modest $6 billion run rate of sales that may or may not be profitable on a fully-loaded cost basis—and it still doesn’t explain today’s buying panic. What can’t be denied, however, is that Amazon’s first quarter red ink brought its bottom line over the last twelve months (LTM) to negative $406 million. That’s its worst result since way back in December 2001 when it posted a LTM loss of $567 million. And it marks the 18th straight quarter in which its LTM net income has been going downhill from the modest peak of $1.1 billion it posted for the four quarters ended in September 2010.

Read More @ Wolfstreet.com

Can Jeb Bush Win the GOP Nomination . . . By Praising Obama?

by Ed O’Keefe, Washington Post:  Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush supports President Obama’s trade deal, praises his management of the National Security Agency and agrees that Congress should have moved faster to hold a vote on new attorney general Loretta Lynch.  And that’s all since last week.  It’s an unusual approach for Bush to take in seeking the nomination of a conservative party that mostly loathes the current president. The former Florida governor has gone out of his way at times to chime in on issues where he agrees with Obama — bolstering his attempt to be a softer-toned kind of Republican focused on winning a majority of the vote in a general election.

Read More @ washingtonpost.com

Fed pulls back from “raising interest rates”

from Bullion Bulls:  For now approaching seven years; the Federal Reserve’s “Boy Who Cried Wolf”(first B.S. Bernanke and now Janet Yellen) has promised to “raise interest rates”. When the promise was first made, right after these psychopathic criminals embarked upon their “0% interest” insanity; we were told rates would be raised immediately once the “crisis” (created by the same banking crime syndicate) had passed.  That lie quickly changed to raising interest rates “as soon as the U.S. economy has recovered”. Since that second promise (six years, and counting); we’ve been told that the mighty U.S. economy has “recovered” and “recovered” and “recovered” some more. Indeed, it’s become a Never-Ending Recovery — the “Goldilocks economy” which was originally promised by B.S. Bernanke a decade ago (right before the last wave of bankster-bubbles began to burst).  Finally, after lying themselves into a corner with all the boasting of the “strength” of this imaginary recovery; the Fed liars promised the world that interest rates would be raised “very soon”. And after a couple of months of that lying; the Liars even ‘leaked’ a specific date to the sycophants of the Corporate media: June.

Read More @ Bullionbullscanada.com

White House Teams Up With Soros for Disturbing 2016 Plan

from Western Journalism:  Last year, as part of his Imperial decree of amnesty for illegal immigrants, President Barack Obama created the White House Task Force on New Americans, whose goal is to vastly increase the numbers and rates at which immigrants were naturalized and granted citizenship. This Task Force works hand-in-hand with the George Soros-funded, open borders-promoting Migration Policy Institute, as well as the openly racist group La Raza, a Mexican nationalist organization that has called for the mass murder of white Americans and a return of the western states to Mexico.

Read More @ WesternJournalism.com

 

 

National Default, Dollar Collapse, Global Economic Crisis | Jim Willie

Published on Apr 24, 2015

IN THIS INTERVIEW:
– What is the difference between money, legal tender, and the U.S. dollar? ►0:27
– Triggers that could crash the financial system ►7:44
– How is the rising U.S. dollar affecting Emerging Market debt? ►18:46
– Big Western banks facing a failure event with the coming defaults from Greece and Ukraine ►26:07
– CONTINUE TO PART 2 ►http://bit.ly/Willie–2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLNwUWnJgSq_LsSyEjjIZEtrdUQFhgWWbN&v=moWCziuB2EM

 

Jesse’s Cafe Americain': A Walk in Rome and On the Appian Way

http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2015/04/a-walk-in-rome-and-on-appian-way.html

“Peter.  Verily, verily, I say to you, When thou were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where you liked: but when you are old, you will stretch forth your hands, and another will gird you, and carry you where you would not like to go.”

About 23 years ago I went on a trip to Rome with my wife, who was then three months pregnant with my son. We wanted to make a pilgrimage there, and for her and my son to receive the blessing of the Pope, and to have a little holiday together before life become a little more circumscribed. Before we the children arrived we traveled together extensively while I was on business, all over the world.

We were staying at a charming little hotel tucked away near the Trevi fountain. While we were there one morning we visited the room in which the English poet John Keats died of consumption, just off to the left going down the Spanish Steps, into the Piazza di Spagna. The year before I had visited the house in Hampstead Heath at which he is said to have written, “Ode to a Nightingale.”

Later we visited his gravesite in the Cimitero degli Inglesi, and read the inscription on his tombstone.

This Grave contains all that was mortal, of a Young English Poet, who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his heart, at the Malicious Power of his enemies, desired these words to be Engraven on his Tomb Stone: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water.

Later we took a bus to the ancient wall of the city, and continued walking through the Porta San Sebastiano, south on the Via Applia in search of an old restaurant at which I desired to have our usual late lunch. After a little while on the road we came to a small, simple country church, the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Palmis, but more commonly known asChiesa del Domine Quo Vadis. We went inside, and to my surprise, this was the place referenced by Henryk Sienkiewicz in his famous book, Quo Vadis which I had read in high school.

The story of this meeting on the Appian Way so many years ago comes from the apocryphal Acts of Peter, thought to have been written in the 2nd century by a companion to John the Apostle.  But it was not included in the canon of the Bible.

I have to admit that it was a moving experience, to visit the places where these things mary have occurred in whatever particular way. I felt the same way when we toured the Coliseum, the Forum, and the Mamertine Prison which had held both Peter and Paul. This reminds us that Keats, and Peter, and Nero, and Paul, and so many other figures whom we remember and read about in history were real people, in most ways just like us, making decisions with confusion, worries, concerns, fears, and the rest of the issues that we all have today.

Here is the relevant section about this area on the Appian Way from Synkewicz’s book.

“About dawn of the following day two dark figures were moving along the Appian Way toward the Campania.

One of them was Nazarius; the other the Apostle Peter, who was leaving Rome and his martyred co-religionists.

The sky in the east was assuming a light tinge of green, bordered gradually and more distinctly on the lower edge with saffron color. Silver-leafed trees, the white marble of villas, and the arches of aqueducts, stretching through the plain toward the city, were emerging from shade. The greenness of the sky was clearing gradually, and becoming permeated with gold. Then the east began to grow rosy and illuminate the Adban Hills, which seemed marvellously beautiful, lily-colored, as if formed of rays of light alone.

The light was reflected in trembling leaves of trees, in the dew-drops. The haze grew thinner, opening wider and wider views on the plain, on the houses dotting it, on the cemeteries, on the towns, and on groups of trees, among which stood white columns of temples.

The road was empty. The villagers who took vegetables to the city had not succeeded yet, evidently, in harnessing beasts to their vehicles. From the stone blocks with which the road was paved as far as the mountains, there came a low sound from the bark shoes on the feet of the two travellers.

Then the sun appeared over the line of hills; but at once a wonderful vision struck the Apostle’s eyes. It seemed to him that the golden circle, instead of rising in the sky, moved down from the heights and was advancing on the road. Peter stopped, and asked, —

“See thou that brightness approaching us?”

“I see nothing,” replied Nazarius.

But Peter shaded his eyes with his hand, and said after a while,

“Some figure is coming in the gleam of the sun.” But not the slightest sound of steps reached their ears. It was perfectly still all around. Nazarius saw only that the trees were quivering in the distance, as if some one were shaking them, and the light was spreading more broadly over the plain. He looked with wonder at the Apostle.

“Rabbi. What ails thee?” cried he, with alarm.

The pilgrim’s staff fell from Peter’s hands to the earth; his eyes were looking forward, motionless; his mouth was open; on his face were depicted astonishment, delight, rapture.

Then he threw himself on his knees, his arms stretched forward; and this cry left his lips, —

“O Lord! O Lord!”

He fell with his face to the earth, as if kissing some one’s feet.

The silence continued long; then were heard the words of the aged man, broken by sobs, —

“Quo vadis, Domine?” (Where are you going, Lord?)

Nazarius did not hear the answer; but to Peter’s ears came a sad and sweet voice, which said, —

“If you desert my people, I am going to Rome to be crucified a second time.”

The Apostle lay on the ground, his face in the dust, without motion or speech. It seemed to Nazarius that he had fainted or was dead; but he rose at last, seized the staff with trembling hands, and turned without a word toward the seven hills of the city.

The boy, seeing this, repeated as an echo, —

“Quo vadis, Domine?”

“To Rome,” said the Apostle, in a low voice.

And he returned.

Paul, John, Linus, and all the faithful received him with amazement; and the alarm was the greater, since at daybreak, just after his departure, praetorians had surrounded Miriam’s house and searched it for the Apostle. But to every question he answered only with delight and peace, —

“I have seen the Lord!”

And that same evening he went to the Ostian cemetery to teach and baptize those who wished to bathe in the water of life.

And thenceforward he went there daily, and after him went increasing numbers. It seemed that out of every tear of a martyr new confessors were born, and that every groan on the arena found an echo in thousands of breasts. Caesar was swimming in blood, Rome and the whole pagan world was mad. But those who had had enough of transgression and madness, those who were trampled upon, those whose lives were misery and oppression, all the weighed down, all the sad, all the unfortunate, came to hear the wonderful tidings of God, who out of love for men had given Himself to be crucified and redeem their sins.

When they found a God whom they could love, they had found that which the society of the time could not give any one, — happiness and love…”

Quo Vadis, by Henryk Sienkiewicz, 1905

It is too bad that it is not read much today, because it is an interesting book. I think it has been made into several movie versions. I especially like the one with Klaus Maria Brandauer, although the earlier epic with Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr is more famous and probably more popular.

The novel was a worldwide best seller in its day from about 1906 to 1930. I remember at the time I read it in 1968 enjoying it because of the portrayal of T. Petronius, Nero’sArbiter Elegantiae, who is said to have written the first western novel, The Satyricon.

The world sometimes treasures such books and stories, but it seems especially so during times of suffering and trouble, when the great masters rise up once again and proclaim their dominion over history. Perhaps it, or some things like it, will have a revival when the madness is once again unleashed, and The New Rome falls, and The New Temple is sacked.

And where is the magnificent Emperor Nero now, immortal god and lord of the world, but a memory, returned to the earth as the dirt and dust, perhaps to be found beneath the fingernails of some child, to be plucked out and discarded with a ‘tut tut’ by a doting mother.

Epub: Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero by Henryk Sienkiewicz

50 Tonnes of Gold Withdrawn from Shanghai Gold Exchange in Latest Week

There were about 50 tonnes of gold bullion taken out of the Shanghai Gold Exchange in the latest week.

That is roughly 1,606,000 ounces in one week.

I include the gold inventories at the Comex warehouses below for the purposes of comparison.  The ‘registered’ category is what is available for sale at current prices.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Option Expiry on Monday

There will be an option expiration on the Comex for the May Contract on Monday.
We will be rolling over from April to June next week for the front contract.
Gold and silver were hit today as money was somewhat desperately piling into equities.
I say desperately because while the Nasdaq set a new all time high, declines were leading advances, and volumes were light.  In other words, it was a selective rally in heavily weighted stocks that can move the indices, especially those that are big name tech heavy.
There is quite a bit of mispriced risk in the markets now. And we can certainly look no further than the Fed and the regulators when the time comes to thank someone for the bitter consequences.
There was new intraday commentary on neoliberalism in economics here.    It may help you to understand what is behind some of the odder policy choices and political actions being taken today.
There is quite a bit of big money momentum behind this neoliberal agenda.  The goal is to overturn all of the New Deal reforms and programs, and bring the world back to the late 19th century world of monopolies and robber barons.  And they are doing a good job of it.
They are partnering up with the so-called neo-conservatives, who were really the far left statists who became disenchanted with Stalinism and went clear around the socio-political wheel to statism of the far right.
What do they have in common?  They both worship power, and their religion is greed.
The world has been here many times before.   While the spirit of life is resilient, so is the dark impulse to try to make ourselves as gods over our fellows and the earth.
Have a pleasant weekend.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – A Sick Economy and a Frankenstein Stock Market

The durable orders number, ex-transportation which means aircraft, was very poor this morning marking seven months in a row of declines. It is the trend, not the headline number, that is most important.

Stocks were off to the races, with ‘tech staples’ leading the charge.

The Nasdaq set a new all time high.

The VIX is at its low for this year, an area of complacency we have not seen since the beginning of last December.

If you look closely at the composition of the market, you will find that in the major indices the declines were outpacing the advances.

What this means is that the index moved higher on selective buying in certain heavily weighted stocks.

All in all, this is a good time to take profits and pare back on stock holdings. Not necessarily go short unless you are very aggressive and a short term seasoned trader, but in anticipation that the market momentum wiseguys are expecting the Fed to bail them out further at these valuations.

Or the ECB and Bank of Japan for that matter. We are in one heck of a nasty little bubble here in financial paper.

You might miss another ten percent to the upside, but the risks here make my skin crawl unless something changes. A narrowing market on light volumes with a negative Advance-Decline number. Yikes!

Have a pleasant weekend.

23 APRIL 2015

How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown – ‘Old As Babylon, Evil As Hell’

“Professor Philip Mirowski author of Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown, explains the intellectual history of Neo-liberalism, what Neo-liberals believe, making capitalists think differently, the role of think tanks in Neo-liberalism, the mythology of market supremacy…”
The Neo-Liberal general action pattern:
1. Create a fog of confusion about a social policy issue, its sources, and its nature.
2. Propose ‘new markets’ to fix the problems created by gaps or flaws in existing markets which are the language by which to define the public policy issue.
3. Build the solution as a platform to encourage phony ‘entrepreneurs’ to come in and expand and embed the market solution, perspective and terminology into the social structure.  Provide little to no regulatory oversight so that monopolies and predatory pricing policies protected by monopoly enrich a powerfully dominant few.
The Obama healthcare ‘market’ is one such example, and it is no accident that it was created by the neoliberal Heritage Foundation, before Obama made it his own.
Was President Obama merely being expedient in choosing such a solution?   I do not think so. I believe he is and always has been a creature of, by, and for the system and the status quo of the elite.  He aspires to be rich and powerful, and to serve he recreates himself as a brand.
A similar approach to the problem of stagnant economic growth and wages is to create even more new markets like the trade deals such as TPP.
People, plants, animals, land, happiness, work, the environment are all merely commodities to be supremely dispensed with by the gods of the markets, without interference.  Their gods price everything, but inherently value nothing, including life, love, liberty, and peace.
Everything is but a transaction for the moment, without serious regard for longer term consequences or damage.  Their god is power, and their religion is greed.
But all the time, and this is most important, the markets are rigged by insiders of the inner temple, and are very much a part of the ‘grift.’  For these are no true markets of purely rational equals, but mechanisms for transferring and accumulating wealth and power to a few.
One of the greatest propaganda triumphs of our age is to have identified neoliberalism with ‘freedom’ by portraying any generally beneficial public function as a source of all evil, all difficulties because they impede the policy making action of the omniscient market, which to the people is as a god.  Instead, it is a monstrous creation, an affront to all that is human, all that is just, all that is good, that brings with it only the utmost desolation.  The madness serves only itself.
Like most old wickedness and folly brought forth as something new, there is nothing ‘new’ about Neoliberalism.  It is as old as Babylon, and evil as hell.
We think that these things take place in other times, in histories and fables, and in far off lands.  We do not see them unfolding here, playing out amongst us, in our own time and day.  But like all who have gone before and will come after, we too have been called to decide, not only in our words, but in our actions.
Do you not know, that to whom you yield yourselves as servants to obey, his servants you become, whether of a corruption unto death, or of a righteousness unto life?

Jim Sinclair

http://www.jsmineset.com/

Posted at 10:13 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Business is booming. Daddy Warbucks does the dance of joy!

The $18bn arms race helping to fuel Middle East conflict
Security experts express fears for region’s stability amid record weapons sales from west and Russia’s missile deal with Iran
Peter Beaumont
Thursday 23 April 2015 05.23 EDT Last modified on Thursday 23 April 2015 19.00 EDT

The Middle East is plunging deeper into an arms race, with an estimated $18bn expected to be spent on weapons this year, a development that experts warn is fuelling serious tension and conflict in the region.

Given the unprecedented levels of weapons sales by the west (including the US, Canada and the UK) to the mainly Sunni Gulf states, Vladimir Putin’s decision last week to allow the controversial delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran – voluntarily blocked by Russia since 2010 – seems likely to further accelerate the proliferation.

That will see agreed arms sales to the top five purchasers in the region – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt and Iraq – surge this year to more than $18bn, up from $12bn last year. Among the systems being purchased are jet fighters, missiles, armoured vehicles, drones and helicopters.

The Russian declaration came only two days before Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, disclosed he was seeking arms worth billions of dollars from Washington – with payment deferred – for the battle against Islamic State (Isis).

Last week France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, disclosed progress in talks to sell Rafale fighter jets to the UAE, one of the Middle East’s biggest and most aggressive arms buyers.

With conflicts raging in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, and with Egypt also battling Islamist extremists in the Sinai, the signs that Russia is preparing to increase its own arms sales – and to the Gulf states’ biggest rival, Iran – are raising fears that tensions will be stoked further still.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Peace in our time?

Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire for First Time Since Year Started
05:16 24.04.2015(updated 06:14 24.04.2015)

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Israel Defense Forces shot retaliatory rocket at northern Gaza after a shell was reportedly fired from there at Israeli Sderot area late on Thursday, for the first time since the beginning of the year, the local media said.

The previous rocket was shot at Israel from Gaza territory on December 19, 2014, breaching the August Israeli-Palestinian truce for the second time.

An open-ended ceasefire was reached by the sides in August 2014 after a 50-day conflict. In July 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against the Hamas forces that resulted in deaths of over 2,000 Palestinians and 71 Israelis, according to the UN estimates.

More…

All Not Quiet on the Eastern Front—-Even Polish General Rebukes Ukrainian Ultra-Nationalism
by Mike Mish Shedlock • April 23, 2015

Judging from Western media, one might think nothing much is happening in Ukraine. Facts are wildly different as we will discuss momentarily.

Rush to Judgment

As a prelude to current events, please recall the hype when Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down in March. Western media rushed to judgment. Heck, even friends who should know better rushed to judgment.

Every Western news agency, even some I would have expected better of, was quick to point the finger at Putin.

I commented on Boris Nemtsov on March 6 in Rush to Judgment and Extremely Inaccurate Reporting.

With that backdrop, let’s turn our attention to some recent events.

Death Squads Kill Four News Reporters in Ukraine

On April 17, Death Squads Killed Four News Reporters in Ukraine in 24 Hours.

Over the last two days in Ukraine, there have been four prominent killings.  On Wednesday, it was former member of Parliament from the Regions Party, leader of the All-Ukrainian Officers’ Union, and one of the founders of the AntiMaidan, Oleg Kalashnikov.  On Thursday, it was journalist Sergei Sukhobok, one of the founders of the ProUA and Obkom websites.  That same day, former editor of the major newspaper Segodnia, well-known journalist Oles’ Buzina, was shot dead in his own backyard; and the body of editor-in-chief of the Netishinskii Herald, Olga Moroz, was found dead in her apartment, bearing signs of a violent death.

Three journalists in one day. Four political figures in 24 hours.  Where is the human rights crowd? Where is the international community?  Where are the declarations of Merkel, Obama, Cameron, etc.? Where is the wave of indignation from the Western press? Where?

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Good thinking or poor navigation?

Iranian naval convoy bound for Yemen turns back toward home
DEBKAfile Special Report April 23, 2015, 8:58 PM (IDT)

Senior US defense officials reported Thursday, April 23, that the Iranian convoy suspected of carrying weapons for Houth rebels in Yemen appeared to have turned around and was heading north toward Iran. Other Pentagon sources were more cautious: “This isn’t over yet,” they said, in reference to a potential showdown shaping up from Monday, when the USS Roosevelt carrier and USS Normandy missile cruiser reached the Arabian Sea. The Iranian convoy was tracked by the US, Saudi, Egyptian and UAE fleets, any one of which may have intercepted an Iranian vessels trying to unload arms for the rebels.

debkafile reported earlier that, just hours after halting military operations in Yemen, Saudi Arabia Wednesday, April 22 resumed its air strikes, bombing pro-Iranian Houthi rebel positions southwest of Taiz, after they seized a brigade base from forces loyal to fugitive President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. debkafile’s military sources report that the Saudi-led coalition went back on a promise published Tuesday to shift its focus from military action to peace talks after Houthi rebels opted out of the ceasefire the Obama administration was trying to broker between Riyadh and Tehran. Tehran further refrained from ordering its warships to turn around and told them to stay on course for the Gulf of Aden opposite Yemen.
debkafile reported earlier Wednesday:

Wide overnight predictions of a Yemen ceasefire coming out of US mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia were unfulfilled by Wednesday, April 22. All that happened was Saudi Arabia’s termination of its air strikes against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels – but not its sea and air blockade of the country. The rebels made it clear that for them, the war goes on. From Washington, US President Barack Obama warned Tehran against delivering weapons to Yemen that could be used to threaten shipping traffic in the region. Speaking in a televised interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” the president said: “What we’ve said to them is that ‘if there are weapons delivered to factions within Yemen that could threaten navigation, that’s a problem.’”

He was referring to the Iranian buildup of nine vessels, some carrying weapons, and warning that US warships were deploying to defend international navigation in the Gulf of Aden and the strategic Strait of Bab el-Mandeb off the shores of Yemen.
debkafile reported earlier::

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdolllahian said Tuesday night, April 21, that Tehran is optimistic that ‘in the coming hours we shall see a halt to military attacks in Yemen.”

He did not say whether the Saudi Arabia had accepted a ceasefire after three weeks of air strikes, or its targets, the Houthi rebels and their Yemeni army allies – or both. Their acceptance would terminate the Yemen civil war.

More…

Posted at 10:08 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim’s Mailbox.

Jim,

An economics professor of mine decades ago said “if it wasn’t for Boeing, US GDP, corporate earnings, and our economy would be in the toilet.”

Combine that with the capricious nature of Boeing’s orders, and we find that we are walking a fine line in our judgements about prosperity. Global recessionary winds will temper future orders quite a bit.

Thank God for war! Just saying.

CIGA Wolfgang R Newsmeister

Capital Goods Orders in U.S. Unexpectedly Fall for Seventh Month
8:30 AM EDT
April 24, 2015

Orders for business equipment unexpectedly fell in March for a seventh consecutive month, a sign business investment will remain sluggish.

Bookings for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft, a proxy for future corporate spending on new equipment, dropped 0.5 percent, data from the Commerce Department showed Friday in Washington. Demand for all durable goods — items meant to last at least three years — rose 4 percent on aircraft and autos.

Non-defense capital goods orders excluding planes were projected to rise 0.3 percent, according to the Bloomberg survey median. The February reading was revised to show a 2.2 percent slump, the biggest drop since July 2013. The decrease was twice as big as the 1.1 percent decline previously reported.

More…

 

Jim,

Perhaps it’s my propensity for leaning toward cynicism, but I feel there is more to this than meets the eye.

Personally, my belief is that the underlying motive for banning cash is to prepare the public for a radical change in our currency.

Perhaps not tomorrow, but soon enough.

One morning, we will wake up and find a new currency in circulation, with the old one being relegated to an historical coffin. It would be more efficient to simply convert all digital currency to a new denomination than to collect and exchange the old… for the new.

Can anyone say debt free “Reichmarks”?

CIGA Wolfgang R Newsmeister

Largest Bank In America Joins War On Cash
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/23/2015 – 23:44

The war on cash is escalating. Just a week ago, the infamous Willem Buiter, along with Ken Rogoff, voiced their support for a restriction (or ban altogether) on the use of cash (something that was already been implemented in Louisiana in 2011 for used goods). Today, as Mises’ Jo Salerno reports, the war has acquired a powerful new ally in Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., which has enacted a policy restricting the use of cash in selected markets; bans cash payments for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans; and disallows the storage of “any cash or coins” in safe deposit boxes.

More…

Why Is JP Morgan Accumulating The Biggest Stockpile Of Physical Silver In History?

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/why-is-jp-morgan-accumulating-the-biggest-stockpile-of-physical-silver-in-history

Why in the world has JP Morgan accumulated more than 55 millionounces of physical silver?  Since early 2012, JP Morgan’s stockpile has grown from less than 5 million ounces of physical silver to more than 55 million ounces of physical silver.  Clearly, someone over at JP Morgan is convinced that physical silver is a great investment.  But in recent times, the price of silver has actually fallen quite a bit.  As I write this, it is sitting at the ridiculously low price of $15.66 an ounce.  So up to this point, JP Morgan’s investment in silver has definitely not paid off.  But it will pay off in a big way if we will soon be entering a time of great financial turmoil.

During a time of crisis, investors tend to flood into physical gold and silver.  And as I mentioned just recently, JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon recently stated that “there will be another crisis” in a letter to shareholders…

Some things never change — there will be another crisis, and its impact will be felt by the financial market.

The trigger to the next crisis will not be the same as the trigger to the last one – but there will be another crisis. Triggering events could be geopolitical (the 1973 Middle East crisis), a recession where the Fed rapidly increases interest rates (the 1980-1982 recession), a commodities price collapse (oil in the late 1980s), the commercial real estate crisis (in the early 1990s), the Asian crisis (in 1997), so-called “bubbles” (the 2000 Internet bubble and the 2008 mortgage/housing bubble), etc. While the past crises had different roots (you could spend a lot of time arguing the degree to which geopolitical, economic or purely financial factors caused each crisis), they generally had a strong effect across the financial markets

And Dimon is apparently putting his money where his mouth is.

If Dimon believes that another great crisis is coming, then it would make logical sense to stockpile huge amounts of precious metals.  And in particular, silver is a tremendous bargain for a variety of reasons.  Personally, I like gold, but I absolutely love silver – especially at the price it is at right now.

Over the past few years, JP Morgan has been voraciously buying up physical silver.  Nobody has ever seen anything quite like this ever before.  In fact, JP Morgan has added more than 8 million ounces of physical silver during the past couple of weeks alone

*****

According to a detailed report from The Wealth Watchman JP Morgan Chase has been amassing a huge stockpile of physical silver, presumably in anticipation of a major liquidity event.

They’re baaaaack. Yes, “old faithful” is back at it again!

Of course, they never really left silver, and have been rigging it non-stop in the futures market, but for awhile there, there were at least no admissions of newly-stacked silver being made in their Comex warehousing facilities.

Yet, after a 16 month period of “dormancy” within their Comex warehouse vaults, these guys have returned with a vengeance.

In fact, our old buddies at JP Morgan Chase, not only see value in silver here, but they’re currently standing for delivery in their own house account in such strong numbers, that it commands our attention.  Let me show you what I mean.

Here’s a breakdown of the Comex’s most recent silver deliveries to JP Morgan:

April 7th: 1,110,000 ounces

April 8th: 1,280,000 ounces

April 9th:  893,037 ounces

April 10th: 1,200,224 ounces

April 14th: 1,073,000 ounces

April 15th: 1,191,275 ounces

April 16th: 1,183,777.295 ounces

This is a huge bout of deliveries in such a short space of time. In fact, within the realm of Comex world, it’s such an exceptionally large amount, that it even creates quite a spike on the long-term chart of JP Morgan’s vault stockpile:

JP Morgan Silver

All in all, JP Morgan has added over 8.3 million ounces of additional silver in just the past 2 weeks alone.

 Full report at The Wealth Watchman (via Steve Quayle andRealist News)

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So why is JP Morgan doing this?

Do they know something that the rest of us do not?

Meanwhile, JP Morgan Chase has made another very curious move as well.  It is being reported that the bank is “restricting the use of cash” in some markets, and has even gone so far as to “prohibit the storage of cash in safe deposit boxes”…

What is a surprise is how little notice the rollout of Chase’s new policy has received.  As of March, Chase began restricting the use of cash in selected markets, including  Greater Cleveland.  The new policy restricts borrowers from using cash to make payments on credit cards, mortgages, equity lines, and  auto loans.  Chase even goes as far as to prohibit the storage of cash in its safe deposit boxes .  In a letter to its customers dated April 1, 2015 pertaining to its “Updated Safe Deposit Box Lease Agreement,”  one of the highlighted items reads:  “You agree not to store any cash or coins other than those found to have a collectible value.”  Whether or not this pertains to gold and silver coins with no numismatic value is not explained.

What in the world is that all about?

Why is JP Morgan suddenly so negative about cash?

I think that there is a whole lot more going on behind the scenes than we are being told.

JP Morgan Chase is the largest of the six “too big to fail” banks in the United States.  The total amount of assets that JP Morgan Chase controls is roughly equal to the GDP of the entire British economy.  This is an institution that is immensely powerful and that has very deep ties to the U.S. government.

Could it be possible that JP Morgan Chase is anticipating another great economic crisis?

We are definitely due for one.  Just consider the following chart from Zero Hedge.  It postulates that our financial system is ready for another “7.5 year itch”…

7.5 Year Itch

JP Morgan certainly seems to be preparing for a worst case scenario.

What about you?

Are you getting ready for what is coming?