Retired FBI Agent Sues DOJ For Records On Contributions Made By A Clinton Ally To McCabe’s Wife

Over the weekend, Judicial Watch announced that it had filed a lawsuit against the DOJ on behalf of retired special agent Jeffrey Danik seeking records related to roughly $700,000 in political contributions made by groups tied to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a long-time Clinton confidant, to the wife of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe… the same Andrew McCabe who was conveniently overseeing multiple Hillary Clinton investigations at the time and even oversaw components of her email investigation. Here’s more from Judicial Watch:
The suit was filed in the U. S. District Court in the District of Columbia in support of Danik’s October 25, 2016, and February 28, 2017, FOIA requests for records about McCabe’s ‘conflicts of interest’ regarding his wife’s (Dr. Jill McCabe’s) political campaign, and McCabe’s reporting to the FBI of any job interviews or offers. Specifically, the two FOIA requests seek:
Text messages and emails of McCabe containing ‘Dr. Jill McCabe,’ ‘Jill,’ ‘Common Good VA,’ ‘Terry McAuliffe,’ ‘Clinton,’ ‘Virginia Democratic Party,’ ‘Democrat,’ ‘Conflict,’ ‘Senate,’ ‘Virginia Senate,’ ‘Until I return,’ ‘Paris,’ ‘France,’ ‘Campaign,’ ‘Run,’ ‘Political,’ ‘Wife,’ ‘Donation,’ ‘OGC,’ Email,’ or ‘New York Times.’
In 2015, a political action committee run by McAuliffe, a close friend and political supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, donated nearly $500,000 to Jill McCabe, wife of McCabe, who was then running for the Virginia State Senate. Also, the Virginia Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe had significant influence, donated an additional $207,788 to the Jill McCabe campaign. In July 2015, Andrew McCabe was in charge of the FBI’s Washington, DC, field office, which provided personnel resources to the Clinton email probe.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 4, 2017.

No ‘Trump Bump’ for the Economy

Crackpot Schemes POITOU, FRANCE – ‘Nothing really changes.’ Sitting next to us at breakfast, a companion was reading an article written by the No. 2 man in France, douard Philippe, in Le Monde. The headline promised to tell us how the country was going to ‘deblock’ itself. But upon inspection, the proposals were the same old claptrap about favoring ‘green’ energy… changing the tax code to reward one group and punish another… and spending more money on various humbug initiatives.
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Subsidized green energy scams are mainly creating eyesores – other than that, they add up to nothing but cronyism writ large. After the one of the biggest solar company bankruptcies ever happened in Spain, a detailed economic study found that for every subsidized renewable energy job the government ‘created’ (at a cost of nearly $2 million per job!) 2.2 jobs were lost elsewhere. It is a good bet that the math isn’t much different elsewhere. To add insult to injury, there is precisely zero evidence that carbon emissions are reduced by even one iota due to these efforts. It is an apodictic certainty that no economy can possibly be ‘rescued’ by the subsidization of this nonsense. There is a widespread belief in government circles that ‘economic growth’ can somehow be conjured up by bureaucrats. That is a costly error that increasingly endangers the future of Western civilization. [PT]

This post was published at Acting-Man on July 12, 2017.

French Political Parties Disintegrating

While Marine le Pen has reversed her position on introducing a new French franc saying she will set the rate at one-to-one to the euro and then allow it to float, whereas previously she said she would peg it to a basket of currencies. Meanwhile, we are looking at the collapse of the Fifth Republic formed by Charles de Gaulle. France is clearly on the brink of another political revolution. It has been astonishing to watch four career political candidates for the presidency be rejected by voters – two former presidents and two former prime ministers. Franois Fillon is on the ropes for political corruption. He tries to hold on for personal reasons rather than recognizing he is helping to destroy the Fifth Republic.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Mar 10, 2017.

Gloom Descends on Luxury-Goods Industry

The crisis in the global luxury-goods industry deepened after Hermes International SCA abandoned a long-standing forecast and Richemont predicted a profit plunge that Chairman Johann Rupert deemed unacceptable.
Richemont, the maker of Cartier jewelry, said first-half operating profit will probably decline about 45 percent and warned it may have to deepen cost cuts. Kelly bag maker Hermes, traditionally among the industry’s most resilient companies, scrapped a target for 8 percent annual sales growth, replacing it with what it described as ‘an ambitious goal.’
Shares of both companies slid, dragging other luxury stocks down with them. The industry is grappling with another year of waning demand as China’s campaign against extravagant spending is compounded by a drop in tourism after terrorist attacks in France and Belgium, a situation Rupert characterized as a ‘fiasco.’ Richemont’s revenue slid 13 percent, excluding currency shifts, in the five months through August, missing analysts’ estimates.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 15, 2016.

Bill Gross says negative interest rates are nothing but liabilities

Call bond-market veteran Bill Gross a ‘broken watch.’ He doesn’t care.
His gripe about negative interest rates and a flood of debt, which he considers a risk, not a fix, for a global economy that’s still limping out of the financial crisis, is challenged daily by resilient demand for the bonds he’s bearish on. But even if being ‘right’ eventually is a hard sell right now, he’s not backing down, Gross said in his latest monthly commentary.
‘The problem with Cassandras, such as Gross and Jim Grant and Stanley Druckenmiller, among a host of others, is that we/they can be compared to a broken watch that is right twice a day but wrong for the other 1,438 minutes,’ Gross wrote. ‘But believe me: This watch is ticking because of high global debt and out-of-date monetary/fiscal policies that hurt rather than heal real economies.’
Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain and Japan are among countries that have negative yields on government-issued debt. Their hope is that cheap, even free, borrowing raises inflation and revives asset prices that can filter through economies; they argue extreme policies have been needed. Gross and others have argued that rates, including those at the Federal Reserve, at near zero or below won’t create sustainable economic growth and actually undermine capitalism.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By RACHEL KONING BEALS, Marketwatch ‘ September 1, 2016.

Ban The Burqinis! Statists Run Amok In France

I hate it when statist government goons make laws banning and criminalizing personal conduct which harms no one, except perhaps the feelings of those nasty busybodies among us whose only mission in life is to stifle the lives, happiness and personal choices of others.
There are laws on the books that beg to be flouted.
Yes, I hated, for example, the mindless Drug Wars from the beginning and defied the statists without any sense of guilt. Thankfully I never got caught. Many did, however, and too many of them had their lives ruined without mercy. It wasn’t so much the drugs that caused the damage; it was the government thugs who trapped them in their nets.
It seems that the statists have learned nothing from the days of liquor prohibition when the American people flouted the laws en mass. Today the French resort of Cannes has banned full-body, head-covering swimsuits – burqinis – from its beaches.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on August 26, 2016.

On The Impossibility Of Helicopter Money And Why The Casino Will Crash

…….. As the stock market reached its lunatic peak near 2200 in August, the certainty that the Fed is out of dry powder and that the so-called economic recovery is out of runway gave rise to one more desperate pulse of hopium.
Namely, that the central banks of the world were about to embark on outright ‘helicopter money’, thereby jolting back to life domestic economies that are sliding into deflation and recession virtually everywhere – – from Japan to South Korea, China, Italy, France, England, Brazil, Canada and most places in-between.
That latter area especially includes the United States. Despite Wall Street’s hoary tale that the domestic economy has ‘decoupled’ from the rest of the world, the evidence that the so-called recovery is grinding to a halt is overwhelming.
After all, the real GDP growth rate during the year ending in June was a miniscule 1.2%. It reflected the weakest 4-quarter rate since the Great Recession.
And even that was made possible only by an unsustainable build-up in business inventories and the shortchanging of inflation by the Washington statistical mills. Had even a semi-honest GDP deflator been used, the US economy would have posted real GDP on the zero-line, at best.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on August 17, 2016.

Trump’s Tax Plan, Clinton Corruption and Mainstream Media Propaganda

Fake Money, Fake Capital OUZILLY, France – Little change in the markets on Monday. We are in the middle of vacation season. Who wants to think too much about the stock market? Not us! Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump promised to reform the U. S. tax system.
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This should actually even appeal to supporters of Bernie Sanders: the lowest income groups will be completely exempt from income and capital gains taxes under Trump’s plan. We expect to hear crickets from the socialists though. Oh, and below you will see why Trump only got $19,000 from hedge funds, while Hillary ‘we came, we saw, he died’ Clinton got $48.5 million (crickets from assorted socialists so far). But who cares, Trump is Hitler, right?
His proposals are nothing new – simplification, fewer brackets, eliminate loopholes for rich people. But he also targeted the ‘carried interest’ exemption. ‘Carried interest’ – or ‘carry’ – is a term used in the financial industry to refer to what is essentially a performance bonus.
The exemption allows Wall Street money managers to count earnings as capital gains. This helps them keep more money in their pockets (capital gains are taxed at a rate of 23.8%. Labor income is taxed at a rate of 39.6%).

This post was published at Acting-Man on August 11, 2016.

DSK’d? IMF’s Lagarde Loses Fight To Avoid French Trial Over Corruption Case

Update: *IMF BOARD EXPRESSES CONFIDENCE IN LAGARDE AFTER TRIAL DECISION
‘As we have said before, it would not be appropriate to comment on a case that has been and is currently before the French judiciary,” International Monetary Fund spokesman Gerry Rice says in e-mailed statement.
‘However, the Executive Board has been briefed on recent developments related to this matter, andcontinues to express its confidence in the Managing Director’s ability to effectively carry out her duties. The Board will continue to be briefed on this matter’
As we detailed earlier, in December we warned of her career’s “terminal decline,” and it appears, just as with Dominic Strauss-Kahn, someone is upset at the IMF Director (perhaps she has just been too darn negative, or pushy towards policy-makers?). In a surprising twist for ‘the establishment’ Bloomberg reports that Christine Lagarde may face consequences for her actions (or lack of them). France’s Supreme Court rules that The IMF director will have to stand trial for alleged ‘negligence’ in accepting an arbitration panel decision in favor of a French businessman.
As we detailed previously,
It was over a year ago when we reported that a French court has put Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, under a formal probe for negligence in a corruption investigation involving famous financier Bernard Tapie, dating back to her days as finance minister.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 22, 2016.

Italy isn’t the only European country with ‘a systemic banking crisis’

Last week everyone was clamoring about Italy.
In the aftermath of the UK’s European Union referendum, markets started worrying about what a British exit from the EU, or Brexit, would mean for one of the euro area’s sore spots: Italian banks.
But this week attention has started to shift over to Portugal – and not just because of its victory over France in the Euro 2016 final.
Rather, markets are once again feeling antsy about the Iberian nation’s banking problems as macroeconomic conditions start to deteriorate.
‘The UK referendum hit an already vulnerable banking system in the eurozone. Italian banksare on the front burner, but the temperature is rising in Portugal,’ Marc Chandler, the global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, wrote in a Monday note to clients.
‘The country is struggling with a systemic banking crisis, the lack of a convincing medium-term fiscal plan and excessive public and private sector leverage,’ a Barclays team led by Antonio Garcia Pascual observed in a note to clients.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Elena Holodny, Business Insider ‘ July 18, 2016.

No, Donald, It’s Not A ‘World War’

Actually, the Nice horror was the demented suicide of a wretch who recently got fired, divorced and arrested for road rage, not a planned jihadi terrorist attack.
Beyond that, the real jihadi threat is rooted in blowback, and combatting it is a domestic police function. Enough militatistic bellicosity already!
The inconvenient truth is, Washington and its NATO vassals have brought bombs, drones, occupations and slaughter to towns and villages throughout the greater middle east for upwards of three decades. It is that senseless intervention and aggression that has fueled the rise of vengeful barbarians who operate under the ideological cover of a twisted Sunni jihaddism.
In fact, it was the Bush/Clinton/Obama wars which gave rise first to al-Qaeda and then to ISIS. In very substantial degree Washington trained them, armed them and then incited them to their anti-western rampages.
The Imperial City’s insidious doctrine of ‘regime change’ also destroyed the states of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan, thereby giving the jihadi vast lawless territories from which to operate and to even establish a murderous medieval caliphate in the desert backwaters of western Iraq and northern Syria..
The frightful violence that has been episodically erupting in France owing to internal cadres and in the US owing to copycats does not originate in the religion of Islam. The latter confession is 1384 years old, but it was only 25 years ago that meaningful jihadi terrorism first impinged on the west.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 16, 2016.

Mike Pence – -A True Anti-Bailout Champion Of Free Markets

The possible selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as Donald Trump’s running mate could clarify the presumptive Republican nominee’s banking policy views, adding a policymaker to the ticket who has been outspoken about the Dodd-Frank Act and other financial topics.
To date, Trump has said very little about banking matters beyond a general pledge to repeal the 2010 financial reform law. But Pence – who served in the House between 2001 and 2012, is well-known to bankers, having served as a fierce opponent to both Dodd-Frank and the Bush administration’s 2008 bank bailout. He is also closely aligned with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling and other conservative GOP lawmakers, giving them a key ally in any future Trump administration.
‘Mike inspires people, and his boundless optimism in America is infectious at a time when so many have lost hope,’ Hensarling said in a statement Thursday. ‘If selected, he will be a great addition to the ticket and he will make a great Vice President. Personally, I am proud to call him my friend.’
Former banker Rep. French Hill R-Ark., who also serves on the House Financial Services Committee, said in a emailed statement that ‘I would be pleased to see Mr. Trump select Governor Pence as his running mate for the fall presidential campaign.’
‘Pence is a principled conservative with executive and legislative experience,’ he added.
To be sure, Pence’s selection has not yet been announced by the Trump campaign. But several media outlets, including the Indianapolis Star, said Trump will soon formally pick the Indiana governor as his running mate. Trump was initially supposed to do so during an appearance on Friday, but he announced on Twitter that he would delay the announcement, citing a terrorist attack in France.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 15, 2016.

German Foreign Minister Steinmeier’s Plea – – -Stop Imperial Washington’s New Cold War

‘ July 7, 2016
What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through saber-rattling and warmongering… Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken. .. We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation… (It would be) fatal to search only for military solutions and a policy of deterrence. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, commenting on NATO’s recent military exercises in Poland and the Baltics.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s cry of distress is that of a man watching a tidal wave of destruction gathering force, similar to ones that have engulfed his country twice in the 20th Century. His dread is not to be dismissed since it comes from a man who is in a position to know what the U. S. is up to. His words reflect the fears of ever more people across all of the Eurasia from France in the West to Japan in the East.
Under the euphemism of ‘containment,’ the U. S. is relentlessly advancing its new Cold War on Russia and China. Its instrument in the West is NATO and in the East, Japan and whatever other worthies can be sharked up.
It is a Cold War that grows increasingly hotter, with proxy wars now raging in Eastern Ukraine and Syria and with confrontations in the South China Sea. There is an ever-growing likelihood that these points of tension will flare up into an all-out military conflict.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By John V. Walsh.

Brussels Nomenklatura Responds To Brexit – – Unveiling Plan For Giant Superstate

The foreign ministers of France and Germany are due to reveal a blueprint to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an ‘ultimatum’.
Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels.
Controversially member states would also lose what few controls they have left over their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees.
The plot has sparked fury and panic in Poland – a traditional ally of Britain in the fight against federalism – after being leaked to Polish news channel TVP Info.
The public broadcaster reports that the bombshell proposal will be presented to a meeting of the Visegrad group of countries – made up of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia – by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier later today.
Excerpts of the nine-page report were published today as the leaders of Germany, France and Italy met in Berlin for Brexit crisis talks.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on June 28, 2016.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Why I Am Voting For Brexit

With sadness and tortured by doubts, I will cast my vote as an ordinary citizen for withdrawal from the European Union.
Let there be no illusion about the trauma of Brexit. Anybody who claims that Britain can lightly disengage after 43 years enmeshed in EU affairs is a charlatan, or a dreamer, or has little contact with the realities of global finance and geopolitics.
Stripped of distractions, it comes down to an elemental choice: whether to restore the full self-government of this nation, or to continue living under a higher supranational regime, ruled by a European Council that we do not elect in any meaningful sense, and that the British people can never remove, even when it persists in error.
For some of us – and we do not take our cue from the Leave campaign – it has nothing to do with payments into the EU budget. Whatever the sum, it is economically trivial, worth unfettered access to a giant market.
We are deciding whether to be guided by a Commission with quasi-executive powers that operates more like the priesthood of the 13th Century papacy than a modern civil service; and whether to submit to a European Court (ECJ) that claims sweeping supremacy, with no right of appeal.
It is whether you think the nation states of Europe are the only authentic fora of democracy, be it in this country, or Sweden, or the Netherlands, or France – where Nicholas Sarkozy has launched his presidential bid with an invocation of King Clovis and 1,500 years of Frankish unity.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard The Telegraph ‘ June 12, 2016.

Even France Shuns Europe as Brexit Revolt Spreads

France has turned even more viscerally eurosceptic than Britain over recent months, profoundly altering the political geography of Europe and making it impossible to judge how Paris mightrespond to Brexit.
An intractable economic crisis has been eating away at the legitimacy of the French governing elites for much of this decade. This has now combined with a collapse in the credibility of the government, and mounting anger over immigration.
A pan-European survey by the Pew Research Center released today found that 61pc of French voters have an ‘unfavourable’ view, compared to 48pc in the UK.
A clear majority is opposed to ‘ever closer union’ and wants powers returned to the French parliament, a finding that sits badly with the insistence by President Francois Hollande that ‘more Europe’ is the answer to the EU’s woes.
‘It is a protest against the elites,’ said Professor Brigitte Granville, a French economist at Queen Mary University of London. ‘There are 5000 people in charge of everything in France. They are all linked by school and marriage, and they are tight.’

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on June 8, 2016.

The World’s 100 Most Influential Hacks, Yahoos and Monkey Shiners

Hacks and Has-Beens
NORMANDY, France – What has happened to TIME magazine? Henry Luce, who started TIME – the first weekly news magazine in the U. S. – would be appalled to see what it has become.
Time cover featuring the sunburned mummy heading the globalist IMF bureaucracy (which inter alia advocates that governments should confiscate a portion of the wealth of their citizens overnight, even while its own employees don’t have to pay a single cent in taxes). Once you see the list of the ‘world’s 100 most influential people’ presented by TIME, you’re either apt to fall into inconsolable depression or you’ll almost die laughing. Ms. Lagarde is allegedly a ‘trailblazer’, whatever that is supposed to mean. Who has made this assessment? Her fellow bureaucrat Ms. Janet Yellen. So one bureaucrat heading a socialist statist agency is assuring us that another bureaucrat heading a socialist statist agency should be admired for having made it to the top of the heap in one of the many crony-infested castles of modern-day feudalism.

This post was published at Acting-Man on May 10, 2016.

The European Union Was Always A CIA Project

Brexiteers should have been prepared for the shattering intervention of the US. The European Union always was an American project.
It was Washington that drove European integration in the late 1940s, and funded it covertly under the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations.
While irritated at times, the US has relied on the EU ever since as the anchor to American regional interests alongside NATO.
There has never been a divide-and-rule strategy.
The eurosceptic camp has been strangely blind to this, somehow supposing that powerful forces across the Atlantic are egging on British secession, and will hail them as liberators.
The anti-Brussels movement in France – and to a lesser extent in Italy and Germany, and among the Nordic Left – works from the opposite premise, that the EU is essentially an instrument of Anglo-Saxon power and ‘capitalisme sauvage’.
France’s Marine Le Pen is trenchantly anti-American. She rails against dollar supremacy. Her Front National relies on funding from Russian banks linked to Vladimir Putin.
Like it or not, this is at least is strategically coherent.
The Schuman Declaration that set the tone of Franco-German reconciliation – and would lead by stages to the European Community – was cooked up by the US Secretary of State Dean Acheson at a meeting in Foggy Bottom. ‘It all began in Washington,’ said Robert Schuman’s chief of staff.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on April 29, 2016.

What Global Growth Rebound? Ports Quiet, Containerships Losing Steam

At a logistics park bordering Shanghai’s port last month, the only goods stored in a three-story warehouse were high-end jeans, T-shirts and jackets imported from the U. K. and Hong Kong, most of which had sat there for nearly two years.
Business at the 108,000-square-foot floor warehouse dwindled at the end of 2015 after several Chinese wine importers pulled out, said Yang Ying, the warehouse keeper, leaving lots of empty space. The final blow came after a merchant turned away a shipment in December at the dock.
‘The client told the ship hands, just take the wine back to France,’ Ms. Yang said. ‘Nobody wants it.’
Pain is increasing among the world’s biggest ports – from Shanghai to Hamburg – amid weaker growth in global trade and a calamitous end to a global commodities boom. Overall trade rose just 2.8% in 2015, according to the World Trade Organization, the fourth consecutive year below 3% growth and historically weak compared with global economic expansion.
The ancient business of ship-borne trade has been whipsawed, first by a boom that demanded more and bigger vessels, and more recently by an abrupt slowing. That turnabout has roiled the container-shipping industry, which transports more than 95% of the world’s goods, from clothes and shoes to car parts, electronic and handbags. It has set off a frenzy of consolidation and costs cutting across the world’s fleets.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on April 27, 2016.

Hollande Chickens Out On Desperately Needed Labor Market Reforms

French President Francois Hollande recently came up with some good proposals for reforming the country’s notoriously rigid labor laws. Most of them never made it into the bill presented to his cabinet Thursday. It’s a lost opportunity his country will have cause to regret.
The original plan, strongly supported by Finance Minister Emmanuel Macron, wouldn’t have scrapped the totemic 35-hour workweek law entirely, but it would have made life much easier for France’s beleaguered employers – loosening the rules on working hours, restricting union powers and making it easier for firms to dismiss workers they don’t need. Lifting these burdens would have boosted employment and lifted the economy.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on March 28, 2016.