Bannon Held Secret Meeting With China’s Second Most Powerful Man

Shortly after Steve Bannon visited Hong Kong last week to give a closed-door speech at a big investor conference hosted by CLSA, a Chinese state-owned brokerage and investment group, Trump’s former strategist flew to Beijing for a “secret meeting with the second most powerful Chinese Communist party official”, less than a month after the former chief White House strategist declared that America was at ‘economic war with China’, the FT has reported.
The meeting occurred at Zhongnanhai, the Chinese leadership compound, where Bannon meet with Wang Qishan, the head of the Chinese Communist party’s anti-corruption campaign.
“The Chinese reached out to Bannon before his Hong Kong speech because they wanted to ask him about economic nationalism and populist movements which was the subject of his speech,” the FT quoted a “person familiar” with the situation.
Mr Wang, who is seen as the second most powerful person in China after President Xi Jinping, arranged through an intermediary for a 90-minute meeting after learning that Mr Bannon was speaking on the topic, according to the second person, who stressed there was no connection to President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to China.
As the FT adds, the (not so) secret meeting between Bannon and Wang will “stoke speculation that the Chinese anti-graft tsar, who has purged hundreds of senior government officials and military officers for corruption in recent years, may continue to work closely with Mr Xi during his second term in office.” Under recent precedent, Mr Wang, who turned 69 in July, would be expected to step down from the Politburo Standing Committee, the Communist party’s most powerful body. But his many admirers argue that as China’s most knowledgeable and experienced financial technocrat, he should stay on to help Mr Xi force through a series of stalled financial and economic reforms.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.

PABX Phone System; What It Is and Why It Is Perfect for Businesses

First things first, what is a PABX? It is basically an acronym that stands for Private Automatic Branch Exchange. In layman’s language, a PABX is just a telephone system or a switchboard whose units are used as internal telephone systems in different organizations.
Unlike the older systems that were made up of fixed telephone lines, the PABX system now interconnects with not just telephone lines but also with the internet. This has been made possible after the arrival of VolP (or Voice over Internet Protocol).
Digging deeper, modern PABX phone systems are customarily hybrid in nature, incorporating both old telephone networks and packed switched networks. It is the use of these packed switched networks that enables cheaper and easier connections to reach the entire world. Therefore, if you have a company that has offices around the world, it will be ultimately easier for you to if you enlist the services of a PABX service provider.
Essentially, it is a switching phone system that links a company’s telephone extensions with each other. The switching system also interconnects the same phone extensions with the outside telephone network. The system made up of incredibly complex machines that can be used not only as telephones but also as modems, fax machines, and internal communication devices. Therefore, any modern office could make good use of this hybrid innovation.
The Benefits of PABX System
– It is perfect for businesses -The PABX systems can be used in offices and/or businesses as auto attendants. Basically, the system handles the office calls to the extent that it picks up if there is no one in the office to answer the call. For this reason, the PABX system is highly beneficial, especially in large businesses that get lots of calls.

This post was published at ZenTrader on Sept 21, 2017.

Trump: Madman Kim “Will Be Tested Like Never Before”

Following Kim Jong-Un’s televized response to Trump’s UN speech, in which he called the US president a “mentally deranged dotard” and vowed to “tame the U. S. dotard with fire”, Donald Trump took to twitter this morning, responding in kind that “Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!”
Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2017

As a reminder, Kim’s last jawboning effort deserved a solid A+ for vivid tragicomic imagery and hollow threats:
“[Trump’s] remarks remind me of such words as “political layman” and “political heretic” which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign.”
The mentally deranged behavior of the U. S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to “totally destroy” a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.
“After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.

SEC Admits US Public Filing System Was Hacked, “May Have Resulted” In Countless Illegal Profits

Over two years ago, on an otherwise uneventful Thursday in May 2015, shares of Avon Products suddenly jumped 20% leaving investors stunned. The catalyst was quickly discovered: a filing recently uploaded to Edgar, the SEC’s public filings database and purportedly from London-based ‘PTG Capital’, claimed that the “private-equity” firm was bidding to take Avon private. Upon closer inspection, investors noticed a series of glaring, suspicious errors. For one, the document was riddled the spelling mistakes – the firm’s own name, consisting of a three-letter acronym – was repeatedly misspelled. The address listed for the firm was quickly revealed to be fake. And, as it turned out, there was no PTG capital operating in London – or anywhere, for that matter.
Investors quickly concluded that the filing was a hoax, and Avon shares crashed back to earth. US authorities eventually blamed it on a Bulgarian hacker who the agency claimed earned a meager profit of $5,000 for his efforts.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 21, 2017.

Government Regulation and Crony Capitalism is Keeping Thousands in Florida without Power

Almost two weeks have passed since Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida, yet tens of thousands remain without power. With temperatures regularly eclipsing over 90 degrees, these outages are not only a grave inconvenience for Floridians cleaning up after the storm, but have proved to be deadly. Given the power of Irma, it is not surprising that it has left behind incredible devastation. Unfortunately it is also not surprising that it is a government-protected utility that has done the most to impede recovery. The pain and suffering currently being felt is the direct result of government policy and the perverse incentives of crony capitalism.
One of the talked about examples of how bad policy is making things worse for Florida families are a variety of government policies that discourages the use of solar power in the Sunshine State. Government policy dictates that Floridians are required to be connected to the central power grid, even if they have enough solar panels installed to power their entire house. Because of this requirement, a family stuck in areas without power with solar panels installed cannot use them now because doing so could endanger workers trying to restore power for their neighbors. Once again government’s desire for centralized control has unintended consequences.
Of course, even without such rules, it’s unlikely that all of Florida would decide to go off the grid. Given that, it’s important to understand how the legal monopoly granted to electric companies not only traps customers into being entirely reliant upon a single company, but actively incentivizes those companies to be reactive – rather than proactive – when it comes to natural disasters and other events that threaten service.
After all, companies like Florida Power & Light will respond to Irma as they have done to hurricanes past, by increasing prices on their customers. Unfortunately, the revenue reaped seems to have made little impact in FPL’s preparedness for future storms. While the company has reported that its recovery efforts have moved faster this year than when Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida in 2005, more residents suffered outrages due to Irma – in spite of the fact that Wilma actually had higher sustained winds when it made landfall.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Sept 20, 2017.

“We Are At War” – Morgan Freeman Is The Face Of The New “Committee To Investigate Russia”

Imagine this movie-script: a former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge… narrates the ominous sounding voice of Morgan Freeman.
The hysteria continues, and this time Hollywood has been enlisted. No this is not The Onion, but yet another serious committee for seriouspeople. Meet the “Committee to Investigate Russia” which launched on Tuesday and immediately garnered broad coverage in pop-culture and entertainment news sites for its release of a short Morgan Freeman narrated video which aims to “tell us the truth” about Russian meddling in the US election. ‘We have been attacked,’ Freeman says in his familiarly reassuring voice while gazing into the camera. ‘We are at war.’
Not only did the video burn up social media on Tuesday, but the founders of the lobbying group behind the production, barely one day old, were given substantial air time on cable news from CNN to MSNBC. Of course, it helps that actor, director, and lifelong Democrat Rob Reiner is behind it – he’s teamed up with neocons David Frum, Max Boot, and national security insiders like James Clapper.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 20, 2017.

SCIENTIFIC FRAUD AT THE CDC RESULTED IN UNTRUSTWORTHY VACCINE SAFETY INFORMATION

A new report is said to contain new evidence of ‘corruption and scientific misconduct’ at the CDC. It also states that employees and consultants for the government health agency engaged in ‘questionable ethics and scientific fraud’ that has ‘resulted in untrustworthy vaccine safety science.’
The press release from the World Mercury Project noted that there are a number of criminal acts allegedly committed by employees and consultants working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose work to expose the connection between mercury-laced vaccines and increased autism rates has earned him wide praise and plaudits, has released a new report, and it’s showing the rampant corruption surrounding the vaccine industry.
The report’s authors single out Dr. Poul Thorsen, a Danish scientist who has been indicted by U. S. authorities for allegedly stealing millions from the CDC and tainting research to hide the dangers posed by vaccines. Indicted in 2011, Thorsen remains on the loose.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on SEPTEMBER 20, 2017.

FREEDOM IS A MYTH: WE ARE ALL PRISONERS OF THE POLICE STATE’S PANOPTICON VILLAGE

‘We’re run by the Pentagon, we’re run by Madison Avenue, we’re run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don’t revolt we’ll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche…. As long as we go out and buy stuff, we’re at their mercy… We all live in a little Village. Your Village may be different from other people’s Villages, but we are all prisoners.’ – Patrick McGoohan
First broadcast in Great Britain 50 years ago, The Prisoner – a dystopian television series described as ‘James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka’ – confronted societal themes that are still relevant today: the rise of a police state, the freedom of the individual, round-the-clock surveillance, the corruption of government, totalitarianism, weaponization, group think, mass marketing, and the tendency of humankind to meekly accept their lot in life as a prisoner in a prison of their own making.
Perhaps the best visual debate ever on individuality and freedom, The Prisoner (17 episodes in all) centers around a British secret agent who abruptly resigns only to find himself imprisoned, monitored by militarized drones, and interrogated in a mysterious, self-contained, cosmopolitan, seemingly tranquil retirement community known only as the Village. The Village is an idyllic setting with parks and green fields, recreational activities and even a butler.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on SEPTEMBER 19, 2017.

Elon Musk Sycophants Attack Ron Paul As A Shill For Defense Industry

What’s next? A unicorn captured in Tennessee? The world I grew up in has changed. American Universities are handing out Play-Doh to comfort distraught liberals and ‘Never Trump’ students. Protestors defaced a Thomas Jefferson statueat the University of Virginia due to his slave ownership. Race baiters attacked Hobby Lobby for displaying raw cotton in vases. The P. C. Police have continually demonstrated their desire to attack the America many of us love.
Now, the snowflake class is writing articles stating Ron Paul – the former Texas congressman that made a career out of criticizing bloated defense budgets and hawkish foreign policy decisions – is shilling for the defense industry. Their ‘evidence’ is that he received five-year-old campaign contributions from some employees of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, which they falsely credited with coming directly from the companies themselves.
Dr. Paul’s alleged wrongdoing was writing an op-ed mildly critical of Elon Musk, a government subsidy-eating machine and poster boy for left-wing environmental causes.
In the article, Paul, an Air Force veteran, expressed his opposition to Section 1615 of the National Defense Authorization Agreement (NDAA), which many speculate was written with the congressional intent of quietly extinguishing all serious competition to Musk’s SpaceX.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 18, 2017.

Dear Jamie Dimon: Predict the Crash that Takes Down Your Produces-Nothing, Parasitic Bank and We’ll Listen to your Bitcoin “Prediction”

This is the begging-for-the-overthrow-of-a-corrupt-status-quo economy we have thanks to the Federal Reserve giving the J. P. Morgans and Jamie Dimons of the world the means to skim and scam the bottom 95%. Dear Jamie Dimon: quick quiz: which words/phrases are associated with you and your employer, J. P. Morgan? Looting, pillage, rapacious, exploitive, only saved from collapse by massive intervention by the Federal Reserve, the source of rising wealth inequality, crony capitalism, privatized profits-socialized losses, low interest rates = gift from savers to banks, bloviating overpaid C. E. O., propaganda favoring the financial elite, tool of the top .01%, destroyer of democracy, financial fraud goes unpunished, free money for financiers, debt-serfdom, produces nothing of value to society or the bottom 99.5%. Jamie, if you answered “all of them,” you’re correct. The only reason you have a soapbox from which you can bloviate is the central bank (Federal Reserve) saved you and your neofeudal looting machine (bank) from well-deserved oblivion in 2008-09, and the unprecedented, co-ordinated campaign by global central banks to buy trillions of dollars of bonds and stocks.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2017.

Bombshell Report Catches Pentagon Falsifying Paperwork For Weapons Transfers To Syrian Rebels

A new bombshell joint report issued by two international weapons monitoring groups Tuesday confirms that the Pentagon continues to ship record breaking amounts of weaponry into Syria and that the Department of Defense is scrubbing its own paper trail. On Tuesday the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) produced conclusive evidence that not only is the Pentagon currently involved in shipping up to $2.2 billion worth of weapons from a shady network of private dealers to allied partners in Syria – mostly old Soviet weaponry – but is actually manipulating paperwork such as end-user certificates, presumably in order to hide US involvement.
The OCCRP and BIRN published internal US defense procurement files after an extensive investigation which found that the Pentagon is running a massive weapons trafficking pipeline which originates in the Balkans and Caucuses, and ends in Syria and Iraq. The program is ostensibly part of the US train, equip, and assist campaign for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, a coalition of YPG/J and Arab FSA groups operating primarily in Syria’s east). The arms transfers are massive and the program looks to continue for years. According to Foreign Policy’s (FP) coverage of the report:
The Department of Defense has budgeted $584 million specifically for this Syrian operation for the financial years 2017 and 2018, and has earmarked another $900 million of spending on Soviet-style munitions between now and 2022. The total, $2.2 billion, likely understates the flow of weapons to Syrian rebels in the coming years.
But perhaps more shocking is the following admission that Pentagon suppliers have links with known criminal networks, also from FP:
According to the report, many of the weapons suppliers – primarily in Eastern Europe but also in the former Soviet republics, including Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Ukraine – have both links to organized crime throughout Eastern Europe and spotty business records.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 13, 2017.

LET’S MAKE AMERICA FREE AGAIN: 230 YEARS AFTER THE CONSTITUTION, WE’RE WALKING A DANGEROUS ROAD

‘I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U. S. government will lead the American people in – and the West in general – into an unbearable hell and a choking life.’ – Osama bin Laden (October 2001)
Ironically, during the same week that we mark the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we find ourselves commemorating the 230th anniversary of the U. S. Constitution.
While there has been much to mourn about the loss of our freedoms in the years since 9/11, there has been very little to celebrate. Indeed, we have gone from being a nation that took great pride in serving as a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade a freedom-loving people to march in lockstep with a police state.
What began with the passage of the USA Patriot Act in the wake of the 9/11 attacks has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse.
Since then, we have been terrorized, traumatized, and tricked into a semi-permanent state of compliance. The bogeyman’s names and faces change over time, but the end result remains the same: our unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for the phantom promise of safety and security.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on SEPTEMBER 12, 2017.

Why Nobody Can Trust Facebook

It becomes harder and harder to overstate the corruption and treachery of the online ad industry. Lord knows I’ve tried.
Among its other accomplishments, Facebook has become famous for its lunatic metrics and bizarre rationalizations.
You would think a company that built its business on the promise of putting sophisticated data to work for advertisers would have the sense not to release numbers that are patently ridiculous.
But time and again Facebook has undermined its credibility by making claims that are easily proven to be false, and then defended these claims with statements that are absurd.
This week it was reported that Facebook was claiming to reach 41 million Americans between the ages of 18-24. If Facebook reached every American between 18 and 24 they’d still be 10 million short. There are only 31 million of them

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 11, 2017.

So Where Does the Money Go that Mexico Borrows?

Answers emerge. Including offshore private accounts.
Mexico’s public debt-to-GDP of 50% may seem modest by today’s inflated standards, but when it comes to debt, everything is relative, especially if you don’t enjoy the benefits that come from having a reserve-currency-denominated printing press, and if you borrow in a foreign currency that you don’t control.
As the debt load grows, more and more of the States’ financial resources must be used to service it. As El Financiero reports, the cost of servicing Mexico’s debt, despite super-low interest rates globally, has almost doubled in the last five years, and is now higher than it has been at any time since 1990. In fact, according to the Government’s own figures, more state funds will be spent this year on servicing the debt than on all public infrastructure projects put together.
Yet as the government scrimps and scrapes in areas that might actually help to boost economic growth, it’s more than happy to dig deep to fill its own pockets.
A joint investigation by the news website Animal Politico and the NGO Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity has revealed that, amidst all the budget cuts, the Pea Nieto Government has been using a complex web of shell companies to make hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds, originally intended for public causes such as combating poverty or financing public education, completely vanish.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Sep 11, 2017.

SYRIA: UN Agencies’Systematic Campaign of Disinformation may Constitute War Crime

Tim Anderson
21st Century Wire
In mid 2012, as foreign jihadists poured into Syria, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon authorised replacement of the Special Mission on Syria (UNSMIS) with a Geneva-based ‘Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria’ (IICOIOS), co-chaired by US diplomat Karen Koning AbuZayd and Brazilian Paolo Pinheiro.
Unlike UNSMIS, led by Norwegian General Robert Mood and based in Syria, the IICOIOS was based in Geneva, never visited Syria and was deeply compromised by its link to US diplomacy and its reliance on jihadist sources. The US Government, by then, was arming anti-government jihadist groups in Syria. Ban had thus embedded a deep conflict of interest in a nominally ‘independent’ UN agency.
The Abuzayd-Pinheiro group, joined by Italian lawyer Carla del Ponte, issued a series of distant reports which echoed western war propaganda against Syria. Notable amongst these were reports on the 2012 Houla massacre, a report on the 2016 liberation of Aleppo, and a recent report which seeks to blame a series of chemical weapons attacks in 2017 on the Syrian Government. Carla del Ponte, in a better moment, revealed in mid 2013 that the first use of sarin gas in Syria was by Jabhat al Nusra. But none of this appeared in the group’s reports.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 11, 2017.

State-Level Corruption And Theft

Ever wonder about property taxes, how they’re set, and what they cover?
Specifically, the largest component of most property-tax assessments are for schools.
Virtually every State Constitution calls forth a State duty to provide a free public education.
Ok. Fair enough. I can argue against that quite-easily but so long as it’s present in State Constitutions the law has to be followed in that regard.
But on whom should the funding costs fall?
Answer: Those closest to the output of the program, who thus have every incentive to do something about it if it sucks.
That’s not you, as a common citizen. If the schools suck in your local area you don’t, for the most part, get the direct costs. If you’re a parent at age 18 your offspring are no longer your responsibility. You can throw them out of the house — literally.
Now it’s certainly true that the indirect costs wind up on the citizens — mostly through crime and social dependence.
The direct costs fall on the local employers.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-09-10.

Price gouging and the generous free market

Gary North published members-only articles recently (here and here) discussing how Hurricane Harvey has affected economic life in Houston. He makes an important point about prices and customers that I have not seen elsewhere.
Other things equal we know scarcity or high demand will drive prices higher. Sellers of diamonds are rarely accused of price gouging but when prices for everyday commodities take a big leap in a crisis almost everyone calls it price gouging. It’s an easy call: People are in desperate need of critical commodities, while certain suppliers are charging scalper prices. Conclusion: The suppliers are craven profiteers.
Wikipedia defines price gouging as ‘a pejorative term referring to when a seller spikes the prices of goods, services or commodities to a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair, and is considered exploitative, potentially to an unethical extent.’ Merriam-Webster says price gouging is ‘charging customers too much money.’ How much is ‘too much’? What is ‘reasonable or fair’?
People don’t know, exactly, but they pass laws against it anyway. The fine for gouging a senior citizen in Texas is $250,000; gouging someone younger is only $20,000. Amazon has algorithms that suspend the accounts of sellers charging high prices relative to other sellers. During Harvey’s onslaught in Houston, a photo on gritpost showed a Best Buy store posting $42.96 for a case of bottled water; Best Buy later issued an apology on behalf of the store.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 10 September 2017.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED: The Situation In The Markets Is Much Worse Than You Realize

It’s about time that I share with you all a little secret. The situation in the markets is much worse than you realize. While that may sound like someone who has been crying ‘wolf’ for the past several years, in all honesty, the public has no idea just how dire our present situation has become.
The amount of debt, leverage, deceit, corruption, and fraud in the economic markets, financial system, and in the energy industry are off the charts. Unfortunately, the present condition is even much worse when we consider ‘INSIDER INFORMATION.’
What do I mean by insider information… I will explain that in a minute. However, I receive a lot of comments on my site and emails stating that the U. S. Dollar is A-okay and our domestic oil industry will continue pumping out cheap oil for quite some time. They say… ‘No need to worry. Business, as usual, will continue for the next 2-3 decades.’
I really wish that were true. Believe me, when I say this, I am not rooting for a collapse or breakdown of our economic and financial markets. However, the information, data, and facts that I have come across suggest that the U. S. and global economy will hit a brick wall within the next few years.
How I Acquire My Information, Data & Facts
To put out the original information in my articles and reports, I spend a great deal of time researching the internet on official websites, alternative media outlets, and various blogs. Some of the blogs that I read, I find more interesting information in the comment section than in the article. For example, the Peakoilbarrel.com site is visited by a lot of engineers and geologists in the oil and gas industry. Their comments provide important ‘on-hands insight’ in the energy sector not found on the Mainstream Media.

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on SEPTEMBER 9, 2017.