Boris Nemtsov, Russian opposition leader, shot dead in Moscow

Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down Saturday near the Kremlin, officials said. Nemtsov was killed just a day before a protest planned against Putin's rule.
The death of Nemtsov, a 55-year-old former deputy prime minister, ignited a fury among opposition figures who assailed the Kremlin for creating an atmosphere of intolerance of any dissent. Putin quickly offered his condolences and called the murder a provocation.
Putin ordered Russia's law enforcement chiefs to oversee the probe. "Putin noted that this cruel murder has all the makings of a contract hit and is extremely provocative," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies.
Nemtsov assailed the government's inefficiency, rampant corruption and the Kremlin's Ukraine policy, which has strained relations between Russia and the West to a degree unseen since Cold War times.

This post was published at CBC News

Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher

For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity.
One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified before Congress and in state capitals, and starred at conferences of people who deny the risks of global warming.
But newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon’s work has been tied to funding he received from corporate interests.
He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.

This post was published at NY Times

Panic in Ukraine Over Food, Empty Stores and Protests; Strategic Food Reserve Empty

Here’s a brief update from “Ellen” who lives in Lviv, a city in Western Ukraine.
Hello Mish
We have quite a panic over the collapse of currency. People buy any food product that can be stored. Everyone wants to rid of Hryvnia. We haven’t seen anything like this since 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. Stores are empty.
It is hard to say what exchange rate this days, somewhere between 34 and 42
There were riots in downtown today. A group of protesters was beaten up by police. They marched through downtown and gave a last warning to government officials. Next time they said they will shoot some officials.
Ukraine is on a brink, but the West is not in a hurry to give us money. Perhaps they want something. Maybe they know the money will end up with corrupt officials who will steal it.
Either way, the few billion dollars they promised in March won’t save our economy, not after this panic started.
Best wishes Ellen

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Friday, February 27, 2015.

Putin Spokesman Says Nemtsov Murder Was “100% Provocation”

Just a few short hours after the terrible murder of Russian opposition politician and outspoken Putin critic Boris Nemtsov, US’ John Kerry was quick to condemn the actions of the “reformer” and demand Russia’s “expeditious investigation,” and President Obama has since issued a statement “admiring [Nemtsov’s] struggle against corruption.” The undertone was clear – ‘Putin did it’. Furthermore, President Poroshenko has claimed that Nemtsov was on the verge of “exposing direct Russian links to the Ukraine conflict.” As many realise the futility of trying to determine whether it is a Russian act, a CIA act meant to look like a Russian act, or a Russian act meant to look like a CIA act, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the Nemtsov murder was “100% provocation… It looks like a contract killing.”
As RT reports,
Opposition politician Boris Nemtsov died in the center of Moscow after he was shot at four times. A number of leading figures from all sides of political spectrum called his murder a “provocation”. Boris Nemtsov, a veteran opposition figure in Russia, was gunned down in a drive-by attack in central Moscow on Friday night. The murder triggered worldwide condemnation and calls to bring the killers to justice.
Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov explains…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 02/28/2015.

Inside The GDP Update: Still No Traction

I think the ongoing destruction in the Japanese Household sector demonstrates very well a specific shortcoming about economic statistics like GDP. The basic calculation of the particular measure that forms the headlines of almost all commentary is a comparison of the current quarter to the previous one. That right away opens the door to incongruities as there remain very definite seasonal differences between quarters. Orthodox econometrics has decided that this seasonality is easily defined, so it adds its own formulaic adjustments to make each quarter ‘apples to apples.’
Even setting aside whether such adjustments can ever be properly defined let alone measured, that still leaves GDP as a function of second derivatives within each quarterly change – second derivatives that could very well be influenced by what econometrics believes as ‘random’ errors even in seasonality. In terms of Japanese household spending, there is a clear vicious trend at play, but in GDP terms household spending has added a positive contribution to the whole for the past two quarters!

The calculation that twists the signs is that building upon second derivatives. Because household spending was ‘less negative’ in Q4 than Q3, but still negative, household spending ‘contributed’ 0.6% to that overall 2.2%.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Jeffrey P. Snider ‘ February 27, 2015.

Q4 Obliterates The Case For QE And ZIRP

The most important number in today’s Q4 GDP update was 2.3%. That’s the year/year change in real final sales from Q4 2013. As an analytical matter it means that the Great Slog continues with no sign of acceleration whatsoever.
Indeed, the statistical truth of the matter is that this year’s result amounted to a slight deceleration – – since the Y/Y gain in real final sales for Q4 2013 was 2.6%. But beyond the decimal point variation the larger point is this: Take out the somewhat jerky quarterly impacts of inventory stocking and destocking, and view things on a year/year basis to eliminate seasonal maladjustments and data collection and timing quirks, such as the double digit gain in defense spending during Q3 and the negative rate for Q4, and what you get is a straight line slog since the recession ended in 2009.
Thus, the year/year gain in real final sales for Q4 2012 was 2.1%; and was 1.5% and 2.0% for the years ended in Q4 2011 and 2010, respectively. Its a 2% world. Period.
The questions thus recurs as to what in the world the Fed’s massive money printing spree had to do with this tepid performance. The answer is nothing at all, and that ‘tepid’ and ‘slog’ are exactly the right words to characterize these numbers. After all, the plunge in GDP during 2008 and the first half of 2009 was the deepest since WW II. By all prior norms, therefore, the bounce back should have been exceptionally strong.
For instance, real final sales dropped by 3% during the Great Recession – – far more than the 1.1% decline during the deepest prior post-war downturn of 1981-1982. However, during the next five years of rebound, real final sales grew by 26% or nearly 4.7% per year. That’s more than triple the 8% cumulative rebound from a far deeper hole in June 2009.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by David Stockman ‘ February 27, 2015.

The Movie and The Goal

The movie just played to sold-out venues in Croatia. I did some press interviews there and the tone of the questions is exactly different from the United States. It is sort of we know the US system is corrupt and protects the bankers, but do you feel comfortable being up front about it and are you afraid? This is very interesting take.
I have been asked what will the average person take away from this film. After all, I did not need to do this movie for out clients since they already know the truth behind the curtain. My objective here has been to expose the political-economic system to the average person so they might understand when the economy turns down, who to really blame. We cannot move forward unless we honestly free ourselves from the corruption and manipulation that tries desperately to hide what is going on. This is about the type of world we are leaving behind for our children and as it stands now, we have brought them into a world of economic slavery with the dwindling light of freedom.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on February 27, 2015.

FCC Votes In Favor of New Net Neutrality Regime, But How ‘Neutral’ Will It Be?

21st Century Wire says…
These last few weeks saw a vicious partisan battle take place in the United States over new government policies regarding Net Neutrality.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to implement strict new ‘Net Neutrality’ rules designed to make sure Internet service providers treat all ‘legal’ content equally.
It got really ugly in the week preceding today’s FCC ruling. Democrats and other liberal pundits have said that losing Net Neutrality would allow mega corporations to dictate who has access to the fast lane, and who does not. Republicans and their media outlets are claiming that this was all about ‘Obama wanting to takeover the internet’ by determining what content we are allowed to post online.
In the end, both sides of this debate called vigorously for the preservation of an ‘Open Internet’, making it a choice between two paradigns – big government, or ‘the free market’ (big cable operators in this case). So in the end, poor partisan America is left with a classic Hobson’s choice: do you go with the Federal Government or Big Business? Daunting isn’t it? .
One rule of thumb here is that whatever big business is attempting to change regarding the status quo – which is a ‘neutral internet’ aka Net Neutrality – is most likely a change designed to favor their narrow interests and may also be seen as a monopolistic urge to buy-up all the valuable bandwidth we call broadband, effectively shutting out weaker competition aka ‘the little man’. Judging by history, it’s almost 100% certain that any intense lobbying by mega corporations will be in order to tilt the playing field in their favor, and in favor of locking up markets for themselves. That is not a premature concern, it is a clear and present danger.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on FEBRUARY 26, 2015.

FCC Vote In Favor of New Net Neutrality Regime, But How ‘Neutral’ Will It Be?

21st Century Wire says…
These last few weeks saw a vicious partisan battle take place in the United States over new government policies regarding Net Neutrality.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to implement strict new ‘Net Neutrality’ rules designed to make sure Internet service providers treat all ‘legal’ content equally.
It got really ugly in the week preceding today’s FCC ruling. Democrats and other liberal pundits have said that losing Net Neutrality would allow mega corporations to dictate who has access to the fast lane, and who does not. Republicans and their media outlets are claiming that this was all about ‘Obama wanting to takeover the internet’ by determining what content we are allowed to post online.
In the end, both sides of this debate called vigorously for the preservation of an ‘Open Internet’, making it a choice between two paradigns – big government, or ‘the free market’ (big cable operators in this case). So in the end, poor partisan America is left with a classic Hobson’s choice: do you go with the Federal Government or Big Business? Daunting isn’t it? .
One rule of thumb here is that whatever big business is attempting to change regarding the status quo – which is a ‘neutral internet’ aka Net Neutrality – is most likely a change designed to favor their narrow interests and may also be seen as a monopolistic urge to buy-up all the valuable bandwidth we call broadband, effectively shutting out weaker competition aka ‘the little man’. Judging by history, it’s almost 100% certain that any intense lobbying by mega corporations will be in order to tilt the playing field in their favor, and in favor of locking up markets for themselves. That is not a premature concern, it is a clear and present danger.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on FEBRUARY 26, 2015.

‘None of the Above’: Senator Wants Message of No Confidence on the Ballot

Trapped inside the two-party beast, where saying ‘no’ to one candidate has often meant voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’ can be downright disillusioning, particularly for those who feel the system is broken beyond all repair.
Sending a firm message of ‘no confidence’ might do more good for the country than continuing to hand power to slick, PR-driven politicians who have continued to betray voter promises and sell out the country to corporate and special interests.
Well, now one state senator has introduced a bill to do just that:
A recent proposal by State Senator Branden Petersen (R-MN) would place ‘None of the Above’ as an option in elections. Under Petersen’s plan (which would be binding in all but presidential contests), if such option were to receive the most votes in a November election, a special election would be held with new candidates in February. Any candidates who had been listed on the prior ballot would be excluded.
Finally. It’s about time.
Maybe it’s not the solution everyone has been waiting for, but at least it sends the right message.
The Star Tribune reports:

This post was published at shtfplan on February 26th, 2015.

Right-to-Work Sweeps Midwest, Heads for Passage in Wisconsin

Right-to-Work legislation is sweeping the Midwest. It’s one of many reforms needed to makes states more competitive, reduce cost pressures on infrastructure projects, and hold down the necessity of tax hikes.
Today the Wisconsin Senate Passed ‘Right to Work’ Legislation.
The proposal would let workers opt out of paying mandatory dues. Many would do just that, preferring to keep money for themselves rather than for the priorities of union officials, including corruption, graft, and various political goals that workers may not at all agree with.
The Wisconsin House of representatives is expected to approve the legislation making passage all but certain.
His staff issued this statement “Governor Walker continues to focus on budget priorities to grow our economy and to streamline state government. Governor Walker co-sponsored right-to-work legislation as a lawmaker and supports the policy. If this bill makes it to his desk, Governor Walker will sign it into law.”
Illinois Again Lags Neighboring States
Unfortunately, and as typical, Illinois lags other Midwest stated in passing much-needed legislation.
I wrote about that on Febuary 11, in my first article for the Illinois Policy Institute. Let’s recap Missing the Boat on Right-to-Work.
Illinois Chamber Misses the Boat on Right-to-Work
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce recently took interesting, as well as contradictory, positions regarding the minimum wage and Right-to-Work legislation.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on February 26, 2015.

The Pathetic ‘Talk Therapy’ Of Janet Yellen

What in god’s name does Janet Yellen think she is doing? Just a few weeks ago she established the ridiculous Fedspeak convention that ‘patient’ means money market rates will not rise from the zero bound for at least two meetings. Now she has modified that message into ‘not exactly’.
As her Wall Street Journal megaphone, Jon Hilsenrath, was quick to amplify:
Ms.. Yellen signaled the Fed is moving toward dropping the reference to being patient from its statement, but sought to dispel the notion it would mean rate increases were certain or imminent.
‘It is important to emphasize that a modification of the [interest-rate] guidance should not be read as indicating that the [Fed] will necessarily increase the target rate in a couple of meetings,’ Ms.. Yellen told the Senate panel.
So two meetings is no longer two meetings. That’s worse than Greenspan’s double talk at his worst, and here’s why. It’s all make believe!
After 74 months of ZIRP, a hairline increase in the money market rate to 25 bps or even 100 bps will have absolutely no impact on the main street economy – – nor on whether the ‘in-coming’ data deviates up or down by a few decimal points from 5.7% on the U-3 unemployment rate or 1.7% on the CPI.
The Fed is absolutely incapable of impacting the short-run ticks on its so-called inflation and unemployment ‘mandates’ because its ‘credit channel’ of monetary transmission is broken and done. The household sector is still saturated by peak debt and the ZIRP fueled runaway stock market rewards corporate executives for share buybacks and M&A deals, not investment in productive assets – even with borrowed money.
So there is absolutely no reason to peg interest rates at freakishly low levels. It has manifestly not enabled household to supplement spending from their tepidly growing incomes by means of ratcheting up their leverage ratios. That Fed trick worked for about 45 years until households used up their balance sheet runway in 2007 and thereupon smacked straight into ‘peak debt’.
The graph below shows household debt relative to wage and salary incomes, and the latter is the true denominator for computing leverage ratios. The Wall Street stock peddlers – who are pleased to call themselves economists – -always use personal income as the denominator, but that’s completely misleading. Upwards of 25% of personal income represents transfer payments including more than $1 trillion of Medicare, Medicaid and housing vouchers. Try paying sending you credit card bill to your Medicare carrier for reimbursement!

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on February 26, 2015.

The Real Ukraine Aggressor: IMF Burying Bankrupt Country In Debt To Fight Civil War

Ukraine risks losing support from IMF member countries for a proposed $17.5 billion bailout if the conflict in the former Soviet republic continues to escalate, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The new four-year loan program is awaiting approval by the International Monetary Fund’s executive board, which represents the lender’s 188 member nations. Getting the panel’s consent will become more challenging if pro-Russia rebels continue their advance and seize territory such as the strategic port city of Mariupol, one of the people said.
A second person said that while a worsening conflict would complicate approval, IMF country representatives are likely to maintain their support unless an open conflict with Russia breaks out affecting the majority of Ukraine. Both people asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.
Any doubts over the IMF funds would increase pressure on Ukrainian allies including the U. S. and European Union to step up their own funding to prevent the country from becoming more vulnerable to Russian economic pressure and wider incursion by pro-Russia rebels. A worsening conflict would make it tougher for Ukraine to maintain economic commitments to the IMF and repay the money while deepening the fund’s involvement in the worst standoff in Europe since the end of the Cold War.
Plugging Ukraine’s financing needs and stabilizing its economy amid an armed conflict will be an ‘enormous challenge,’ said William Taylor, the U. S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009 who is now acting executive vice president at the U. S. Institute of Peace. ‘If they’re going to exist as a nation, they’re going to have to be able to defend themselves.’

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on February 26, 2015.

What Dodd-Frank Didn’t Fix: The Worst Conflicts on Wall Street

Two major stories have broken this week showing how little has actually changed under the much heralded financial reform legislation known as Dodd-Frank. That legislation was enacted in 2010 with the promise of ending the unchecked corruption, conflicts of interest and casino capitalism that crashed the U. S. financial system in 2008, leading to the largest taxpayer bailout in the nation’s history.
Yesterday, in a front page article, the New York Times used data to back up the withering conflicts of interests of SEC Chair Mary Jo White – the same conflicts that Wall Street On Parade reported two years ago. (See related articles below.)
The Times reported that because Mary Jo White had worked for a major Wall Street powerhouse law firm immediately preceding her term at the SEC, representing major Wall Street firms like JPMorgan Chase, she had recused herself at least 48 times on cases involving either her former law firm or clients she directly represented.
Then comes the less than credible part of the Times story. The reporters write: ‘But in a surprising twist, Ms. White will have to keep sitting out cases that involve her husband’s firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore. So far, she has had to recuse herself from at least 10 investigations into clients of Cravath, interviews and records show, including some that came before Ms. White joined the agency and at least four that involved Mr. White himself.’

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Martens and Russ Marte.

Debt Be Not Proud

Some things never change. Here is Eugen von Bhm-Bawerk, one of the founding intellectuals of the Austrian school of economics, writing in January 1914, lambasting politicians for their complicity in the corruption of monetary policy:
We have seen innumerable variations of the vexing game of trying to generate political contentment through material concessions. If formerly the Parliaments were the guardians of thrift, they are today far more like its sworn enemies. Nowadays the political and nationalist parties … are in the habit of cultivating a greed of all kinds of benefits for their co-nationals or constituencies that they regard as a veritable duty, and should the political situation be correspondingly favorable, that is to say correspondingly unfavorable for the Government, then political pressure will produce what is wanted. Often enough, though, because of the carefully calculated rivalry and jealousy between parties, what has been granted to one has also to be conceded to others – from a single costly concession springs a whole bundle of costly concessions. [emphasis mine]
That last sentence is a key to understanding the crisis that is unfolding in Europe. Normally, you would look at a country like Greece – with 175% debt-to-GDP, mired in a depression marked by -25% growth of GDP (you can’t call what they’re going through a mere recession), with 25% unemployment (50% among youth), bank deposits fleeing the country, and a political system in (to use a polite term) a state of confusion – and realize it must be given debt relief.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on FEBRUARY 24, 2015.

Kick-The-Can Has Morphed Into A Blatant Farce

Kick-the-can has morphed into a blatant farce. Everywhere in the world central banks and financial officialdom are engaging in desperate, juvenile maneuvers to buy time – – amounting to hardly a few weeks at a go. Never before has the debt-saturated, speculation-ridden global casino rested upon such a precarious foundation.
This week, for instance, Janet Yellen will again waste two days of Congressional hearings in forked-tongue equivocations about an absolutely stupid issue. Namely, the exact date when money market interest rates will be permitted to blip upward from the zero bound by even 25 basis points.
But this ‘lift-off’ drama is flat-out surreal. How could it possibly matter whether ZIRP will have been in place by 80 months or 83 months from its inception point way back in December 2008? There is not a single household or business on main street America which will change its behavior in the slightest during the next year regardless of whether the federal funds rate is 5 bps, 30 bps or 130 bps.
The whole Kabuki dance in the Eccles Building is about hand signals to Wall Street carry traders; its a reflection of the desperate fear of our monetary politburo that having inflated for the third time this century the mother of all financial bubbles, they must now keep it going literally one meeting at a time – lest it splatter again and destroy the illusion that an egregious spree of money printing has saved the main street economy.
Likewise, it now transpires that the bruising political war of words between the Germans and the ‘radical’ Greek government has been suspended for another few weeks. And the reason is a pathetic fear that unites the parties despite their irreconcilable substantive policy differences. Namely, that the markets will crater upon even a hint that a real solution is on the table, and that the way to keep the beast at bay is to cover their eyes, kick-the-can and hope something turns up to avert the next crisis a few weeks down the road.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by David Stockman ‘ February 24, 2015.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – NASDAQ Hits a New 15 Year High – Death By Overdose

“Easy is the descent down to hell; Its gates stand open, day and night. But to retrace one’s steps, to return To see again the pure clean air, and cheerfulness and life: That is the real task, that is our true labour.”
Vergil, Aeneid
I cannot believe it, they are going to do it all over again.
All the fraudulent securities, the wanton bubbles in paper, the watered stocks, the wildly overvalued IPOs, the lies and double dealing, the financial deception, the mispriced risks, the abuse of language, the widespread corruption of public policy, and then the inevitable, sickening crunch.
Never have so many sacrificed so much, for such an underserving, careless few.
If heaven is seeing and in turn being seen, transformed and made new, by the beatific face of Pure Love in resplendent glory, then hell must be seeing, at the last and forever, one’s own dark and miserable soul, as it really is, alone.
Finally, I can believe it, what I could never really accept before, believe in the reality of a place and people with a will that is beyond redemption.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 24 FEBRUARY 2015.

[GMO Horror Story] Attack of the Killer Fish Pigs!

The year is 2055…
Mutant fish-pigs have taken over the planet and hoarded the world’s food supply.
Entire cities have been taken over.
Lady Liberty has been replaced by an even bigger effigy…
It’s an unspeakably ridiculous downfall of humanity.
And we have one company to thank. Take a wild guess.
Yep. You got it.
Monsanto.
Like most man-made disasters, good intentions and a heavy helping of stupidity were at the genesis.
The goal, you see, was to create a ‘super fish-pig.’
(It sounds dumb even saying it.)
In 2033, you see, Monsanto publicly merged with the United States government. Now, with billions of dollars at their disposal, the experiments got real weird.
Though GMOs were completely out of favor by this time (but eaten because that’s all that was left), Monsanto kept on its relentless path. It kept trying to show the world how innovative GMOs were.
Maybe it was guilt. Maybe it was a need to be loved.
But Monsanto should’ve known that it was time to throw in the towel. The Great Food Crisis was still fresh in everyone’s minds.
No one would dare publicly support them. Aside from the crooks and cronies within the government, of course.
Oh, you haven’t heard of the Great Food Crisis?
Jeez…
Well, here’s how it played out.
First, all the bees died. And then all the small farmers were sued or forced out of existence. Yep. All of them.
Then, the superbugs started to get out of control. These little steely-eyed bastards could handle all the pesticides we threw at them. They’d adapted beyond anything Monsanto even thought possible.
In only a few years, the superbugs ravaged through 75% of the United States’ crops before the National Guard could contain them.
Meanwhile, while we devoted all our resources to killing the bugs, the super weeds gained traction.
And just like that… food was scarce. And the rationing began.

This post was published at Laissez Faire on Feb 24, 2015.

Goldman Sachs Acts as Economic Hitman Against Public School Districts

The fliers touted new ballfields, science labs and modern classrooms. They didn’t mention the crushing debt or the investment bank that stood to make millions. – Melody Peterson, Orange County Register, February 15, 2013
Remember when Goldman Sachs – dubbed by Matt Taibbi the Vampire Squid – sold derivatives to Greece so the government could conceal its debt, then bet against that debt, driving it up? It seems that the ubiquitous investment bank has also put the squeeze on California and its school districts. Not that Goldman was alone in this; but the unscrupulous practices of the bank once called the undisputed king of the municipal bond business epitomize the culture of greed that has ensnared students and future generations in unrepayable debt.
In 2008, after collecting millions of dollars in fees to help California sell its bonds, Goldman urged its bigger clients to place investment bets against those bonds, in order to profit from a financial crisis that was sparked in the first place by irresponsible Wall Street speculation. Alarmed California officials warned that these short sales would jeopardize the state’s bond rating and drive up interest rates. But that result also served Goldman, which had sold credit default swaps on the bonds, since the price of the swaps rose along with the risk of default.
In 2009, the lenders’ lobbying group then proposed and promoted AB1388, a California bill eliminating the debt ceiling requirement on long-term debt for school districts. After it passed, bankers traveled all over the state pushing something called ‘capital appreciation bonds’ (CABs) as a tool to vault over legal debt limits. (Think Greece again.) Also called payday loans for school districts, CABs have now been issued by more than 400 California districts, some with repayment obligations of up to 20 times the principal advanced (or 2000%).
The controversial bonds came under increased scrutiny in August 2012, following a report that San Diego County’s Poway Unified would have to pay $982 million for a $105 million CAB it issued. Goldman Sachs made $1.6 million on a single capital appreciation deal with the San Diego Unified School District.
Green Light to Exploit
In a September 2013 op-ed in SFGate.com called ‘School Bonds Are a Wall Street Scam,’ attorney Nanci Nishimura wrote:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on February 23rd, 2015.

When the Contract Has No Clothes

Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours
Like a fool I went and stayed too long Now I’m wondering if your love’s still strong Oo baby, here I am, Signed, sealed delivered, I’m yours Then that time I went and said goodbye Now I’m back and not ashamed to cry Oo baby, here I am, Signed, sealed delivered, I’m yours
Stevie Wonder wrote the song I quoted in a simpler time – a time when a contract was still a serious formal course of business. Those days are long gone.
My friend and fellow subscriber sent me the following question worth developing here.
Question: ‘Any solution to blatant naked short selling which has destroyed capitalism and free markets? The concept of naked short selling is insane. How can one sell legally, or in a common sense way, something he does not own?
It seems to me as long as the blatant fraud of naked short selling is allowed by the ‘regulators’ in U. S. markets, then markets will continue to be manipulated to protect the unstable, unbacked fiat Ponzi monetary system, the short term trading goals of the government and the collusive big banks. Sadly, it seems that simple.
Do you see any hope for enough people (or countries) to understand that our markets are now totally corrupt and act to help restore fair, honest, and free markets? Or is the ever expanding corruption likely to continue until the markets become so fraudulent, and so out of whack, that they just implode on their own? Please explain.”
Let’s start with this from Wikipedia:

This post was published at Silver-Coin-Investor on Feb 22, 2015.