Archive for May, 2010

The Threat of Nuclear War is, like, so 1980s…

The Sunday Times reports that “three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.”

And if that isn’t enough…

“Reports say Israeli ships attack Gaza aid flotilla. At least several people were killed and scores of others were left injured after Israeli ships clashed with six ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and aid for Gaza, according to news reports on early Monday.” A livestream of the attack on Turkish aid ships in international water via CNN Turkey can be seen here.

Is Israel now actively seeking not only to wage war, but a two-fronted one at that? (did not work out too well last time this was attempted). We don’t know, although with bizarro futures, where the ES reacts inversely to what fundamentals suggest, look for another 100 points S&P move higher even with US markets close, as the world inches one step closer to nuclear war.”

Good grief!!

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Warren Buffoon

From an article in New York Magazine

The Wall Street Journal reported on April 26 that Buffett was lobbying Nebraska senator Ben Nelson to grandfather Berkshire and its $63 billion derivatives portfolio from any new rules, specifically those that might force the company to reserve collateral to cover potential losses. Recall that this is the guy who called derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction.” But they’re only dangerous, apparently, in lesser people’s hands. (The great Buffett? Posting collateral? How dare they.) Some of Buffett’s derivatives positions are outright bets on the direction of the market, the kind that can suddenly be worth nothing if he’s wrong. In other words, gambling. With shareholder money. Now where have we heard of that before?

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For absolutely no good reason.. Just reinflating the housing market in preperation for the next housing market crash which is now CERTAINLY going to be worse than the last one.

Here’s Tyler Durden’s suscinct evalutation. (BTW QE = Quantative Easing)…

From Zero Hedge

The Freddie Mac 30 year Fixed Rate Mortgage rate for the May 27 week was announced, and, in tried and true “let no crisis go to waste” fashion, it has dropped to a fresh 2010 low of 4.78%. So to recap: stocks are where they were at the beginning of the year, the US federal debt is over $13 trillion, QE is over, Europe is imploding, China is tightening, North and South Korea are blasting The Eagles at each other at over 200 dB in clear violation of the Geneva convention, there is no oil left in the GOM, US double dip is accelerating, Marsian global rescue swaps are being considered by the Fed, yet mortgages are cheaper than they ever have been, as the government goes double all in in its attempt to reflate the housing bubble. Well played, Ben, well played.

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Very interesting analysis from an essay that explores Thomas Pynchon’s concept of history by drawing links between Mason Dixon and Gravity’s Rainbow.

History, Uncertainty, and Trajectory: Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon and Gravity’s Rainbow

by Ariss DerHovanessian

“A … devastating consequence of conventional history is that once consolidated, the voices of Pynchon’s beloved “preterite,” the suffering and powerless masses, are written out and covered-up. “What passes is a truth so terrible that history–at best a conspiracy, not always among gentlemen, to defraud–will never admit it. The truth will be repressed or in ages of particular elegance be disguised as something else” (GR 164). Antonio Marquez suggests that for Pynchon, history is a “system of illusions, an enormous con-game that shields grotesque lies and conspiracies” (Marquez 55). But beyond the fact that so many crimes, like the extermination of the Hereros in Africa, are virtually written out of official histories, a philosophy of history that tends to focus on events, causes, and effects, rather than on people, completely disregards human suffering. Ultimately, such a perception perpetuates a deceptive aggrandizement of the past. When students of history are forced to painstakingly memorize a series of meaningless facts, names, dates, and places, it becomes easy to neglect the real pain that real people experienced.”

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The Large Hadron Collider is the largest and most complicated machine ever built. I can’t help but think of other big endeavours undertaken by man and the platitudes uttered to quell the skeptics.

1. The Titanic will never sink.

2. U.S. house prices will never drop.

3. The risks of an oil spill from a deepsea oil rig is negligible

4. The Large Hadron Collider is safe.

Given how statements #1 to #3 above turned out I don’t have much faith in the veracity of statement #4.  Of course CERN performed it’s own risk evaluation.  Scientists are just as, if not more, driven by ego and the pursuit of notoriety as any banker or trader.

These scientists are screwing around with space time. If they discover or unleash something unexpected we could be in trouble.   Plugging a crude-spewing hole at the bottom of the sea is proving difficult enough…but stopping a black hole that has gotten away and lodged itself in the center of the planet where it grows with the potential of swallowing the Earth in 50 monhts?  Even harder.  CERN denies that there is any significant risk, but is any risk of destroying the planet or altering human affairs for the worst acceptable?

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Get out.. a group with a proposal on how to live sustainably!

The Holigent REvolution for Economic Security, Peace and Sustainability

I give them credit for trying. Problem is there will always be people who want to lead, people who don’t mind following, but more importantly, and here is what I think humanity has suffered from the longest, people who want the power to lead and all the bling that it entails but none of the responsibility.  It’s this last group that screws it up for everyone else since they are the ones who masterfully  manipulate human nature and pull the wool over the eyes of those who ARE natural leaders and come closest to Plato’s idea of Philosopher Kings.

This is what Jesus was trying to convey to people… Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…

If we can’t get what I will bluntly call “assholes” to start thinking about the greater good, then they win… until all is destroyed and then the Meek shall inherit what’s left of the Earth… and so the story will begin anew…

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In light of current events, more specifically the Flash Crash of May 6th and the continuing currency manipulations that are artificially keeping the World Markets from dropping to their equilibrium levels I thought it might be a good time to review what we know about the collapse of 7 World Trade Centre: Check out what’s below and then feel free to come up with your own conclusions.

Watch this:

And this:

Then read the following excerpt from the entry for 7 World Trade Centre on Wikipedia:

“7 World Trade Center housed SEC files relating to numerous Wall Street investigations, as well as other federal investigative files. All the files for approximately 3,000 to 4,000 SEC cases were destroyed. While some were backed up in other places, others were not, especially those classified as confidential. Files relating Citigroup to the WorldCom scandal were lost. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimates over 10,000 cases will be affected.[52] The Secret Service had its largest field office, with more than 200 employees, in WTC 7 and lost investigative files. Says one agent: “All the evidence that we stored at 7 World Trade, in all our cases, went down with the building.”

The collapse of 7 World Trade Center is remarkable because it was the first known instance of a tall building collapsing primarily as a result of uncontrolled fires.

World Trade Center controlled demolition conspiracy theories say that the building collapses on September 11, including that of building seven, were the result of controlled demolition. The draft NIST report rejected this hypothesis, as the window breakages and blast sound that would have occurred if explosives were used were not observed. The use of thermate instead of explosives is discarded by NIST on the basis that it is unlikely the necessary 100 pounds of thermate for each steel column could have been planted without being discovered.

Speaking of Citi Bank…

A certain Robert Rubin left his job as Treasury Secretary  in 1999 and joined Citigroup as a board member and as a participant “in strategic managerial and operational matters of the Company, but […] no line responsibilities.  The Wall Street Journal called this mix of oversight and management responsibilities “murky.”

www.Truthout.org has this to say about Robert Rubin:

“A Goldman Sachs chairman who wormed his way into the Treasury Secretary post under President Bill Clinton, Rubin presided over one of the most radical deregulatory eras in the history of finance. Rubin’s influence within the Democratic Party marked the final stage in the Democrats’ transformation from the concerned citizens who fought Wall Street and won during the 1930s to a coalition of Republican-lite financial elites. Rubin’s most stunning deregulatory accomplishment in office was also his greatest act of corruption. Rubin helped repeal Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law that banned economically essential banks from gambling with taxpayer money in the securities markets. In 1998, Citibank inked a merger with the Travelers Insurance group. The deal was illegal under Glass-Steagall, but with Rubin’s help, the law was repealed in 1999, and the Citi-Travelers merger approved, creating too-big-to-fail behemoth Citigroup.

That same year, Rubin left the government to work for Citi, where he made $120 million as the company piled up risk after crazy risk. In 2008, the company collapsed spectacularly, necessitating a $45 billion direct government bailout, and hundreds of billions more in other government guarantees.”

Robert Rubin is currently one of Obama’s economic advisors.

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From Zero Hedge:

If anyone has been curious why the Fed, banks and politicians have all been pushing for the “consumer protection” portion of the Financial Regulation bill, it appears we may have the answer. As CNSNews.com reports, the bill “would create the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and empower it to “gather information and activities of persons operating in consumer financial markets,” including the names and addresses of account holders, ATM and other transaction records, and the amount of money kept in each customer’s account. The new bureaucracy is then allowed to “use the data on branches and [individual and personal] deposit accounts … for any purpose” and may keep all records on file for at least three years and these can be made publicly available upon request.” Goodbye privacy, hello 1984.

Click here for the rest of this entry.

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Originally posted on The Onion

BROOKLYN, NY—After a number of close listenings, local resident Brian Mott was finally able to get into a music album that is really not very good at all, sources reported Tuesday. “At first, it was kind of hard to penetrate, but now that I’ve heard the whole thing like six or seven times, I’m really starting to dig it,” said Mott, who decided to stick with the utterly unimpressive record, and not be put off by the fact that it was, by any account, underwhelming at best. “It’s definitely not for everyone, that’s for sure.” According to sources, Mott then went back to enjoying the overall crappy album by staring straight ahead for 43 minutes and furrowing his brow in intense concentration.

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Reposted from the Pragmatic Capitalist vis Naked Capitalism

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