New revelations from Wikileaks’ ‘Vault 7′ leak shed a disturbing light on the safeguarding of privacy. Something already known and largely suspected has now become documented by Wikileaks. It seems evident that the CIA is now a state within a state, an entity out of control that has even arrived at the point of creating its own hacking network in order to avoid the scrutiny of the NSA and other agencies.
Reading the revelations contained in the documents released by WikiLeaks and adding them to those already presented in recent years by Snowden, it now seems evident that the technological aspect regarding espionage is a specialty in which the CIA, as far as we know, excels. Hardware and software vendors that are complicit – most of which are American, British or Israeli – give the CIA the opportunity to achieve informational full-spectrum dominance, relegating privacy to extinction. Such a convergence of power, money and technology entails major conflicts of interest, as can be seen in the case of Amazon AWS (Amazon’s Cloud Service), cloud provider for the CIA, whose owner, Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post. It is a clear overlap of private interests that conflicts with the theoretical need to declare uncomfortable truths without the need to consider orders numbering in the millions of dollars from clients like the CIA.
While it is just one example, there are thousands more out there. The perverse interplay between media, spy agencies and politicians has compromised the very meaning of the much vaunted democracy of the land of the Stars and Stripes. The constant scandals that are beamed onto our screens now serve the sole purpose of advancing the deep interest of the Washington establishment. In geopolitical terms, it is now more than obvious that the deep state has committed all available means toward sabotaging any dialogue and dtente between the United States and Russia. In terms of news, the Wikileaks revelations shed light on the methods used by US intelligence agencies like the CIA to place blame on the Kremlin, or networks associated with it, for the hacking that occurred during the American elections.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on MARCH 13, 2017.

Want “Unlimited Access To A Target’s Mobile Devices… Leaving No Trace”? Ask NSO Group

For the affordable price of $650,000, Israeli company NSO Group will enable you to invisibly spy on 10 iPhone owners without their knowledge. The cost is a little higher for Blackberry users (5 for $500,000).. and there is a 17% maintenance fee every thereafter to ensure “leaving no traces whatsoever.” Welcome to the new world of private companies selling surveillance tools to the ‘average joe’…
Since its founding six years ago, the NSO Group has kept a low profile. But, as The New York Times reports, last month, security researchers caught its spyware trying to gain access to the iPhone of a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates. They also discovered a second target, a Mexican journalist who wrote about corruption in the Mexican government.
NSO is one of a number of companies that sell surveillance tools that can capture all the activity on a smartphone, like a user’s location and personal contacts. These tools can even turn the phone into a secret recording device.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 4, 2016.

Damned Lies and Statistics – – – The High PE/Low Inflation Fallacy

Everyone knows about lies, damned lies, and statistics. The quote has been attached to Mark Twain who apparently attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. It remains among popular clichs because there is universal truth to it, a sort of caveat emptor lying in the background whenever one consumes an argument. Nowhere is that more the truth than economics and finance, disciplines almost (nowadays) entirely populated with statistics and very little else.
Given the rather extreme nature of the times, extreme statistics are more prevalent perhaps than at any other point. They run the spectrum, as do human intentions, from the purely mistake to the malicious. The better stats, as the best lies, are often difficult to discern because they contain a great deal of truth; requiring a great deal of further analysis and scrutiny to unpack the error or mistake. Sometimes, however, it takes very little effort (reflecting both on the numbers and the person wielding them).
Prominently displayed on the front page of Yahoo!Finance today was an article whose purpose was just so barely disguised. You can and should read the whole piece, but the gist is essentially that we shouldn’t worry about very high valuations to the current stock market because valuations aren’t so simple. The expert quoted in the article declares that PE’s at this point, well above 20x, ‘do not contradict the bullish case for stocks.’ The reason is low inflation and related low interest rates; an argument proposed and reiterated many, many times before.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 19, 2016.

Debunking Washington’s Big Lie – – Why Iran Is Not Our Enemy

Where are you from?’ the elderly man asked politely, as my wife and I strolled through his small Iranian village in early May.
‘America,’ I answered.
‘Wonderful,’ he said, grabbing my shoulders and giving me the traditional three kisses on my cheeks. ‘I am so glad you are here.’
Then he asked, ‘But why does your government hate us so much?’
I am not shy about criticizing US government policies – when I’m home in America. But, when I’m abroad, I tend to get defensive about my country. So, I muttered something about the importance of people of different nations getting to know each other independent of their politicians, and turned our conversation to the history of his ancient town.
Demonization of Iran runs wide and deep in our mainstream politics. But his question – asked of us by many other ordinary Iranians happy to meet American visitors – deserves a better response. Not so much to explain our foreign policy to Iranians, but to ourselves.
Demonization of Iran runs wide and deep in our mainstream politics. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tell us that Iran is the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism, aimed at taking over the whole Middle East, if not the world (this echoes the State Department, which in its recently released annual reportcalls Iran the world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism). Both have declared themselves ready and eager to ‘strike’ and ‘obliterate’ Iran. Republican Senator Ted Cruz says flatly that Iran intends to launch a nuclear attack against the United States. Mike Huckabee and Benjamin Netanyahu, who must be considered an American as well as an Israeli politician, say that Iran is preparing the ovens for another holocaust of the Jews. In 2013, when there was no evidence that Iran was building a nuclear bomb, Vice President Joe Biden announced that – just in case – ‘all options, including military force, are on the table.’

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

Why Brexit Is Such a Threat to the New World Order

If you think that a referendum vote on June 23 by UK citizens on whether to withdraw from the European Union (called Brexit, short for British Exit), is simply a proxy on whether the UK should dislodge itself from the edicts of Brussels, think again. It’s morphed into a much broader debate on whether citizens worldwide should surrender their right to a participatory democracy in order to further the interests of multinational corporations, secret trade agreements packed with secret court tribunals, global banking hegemony and central banks attempting to keep all these balls in the air for their one percent overlords.
One particular central bank is sure to come under fire today. Members of the British Parliament have been warning Mark Carney, head of the Bank of England (BOE), to not engage in political lobbying on the issue of Brexit, which he is perceived to have been doing for months. Carney is already the subject of skepticism in the U. K. He’s a former Goldman Sachs executive, former Governor of the Bank of Canada and the first foreigner to run the BOE in its 300-year history. (This is reminiscent to many of how Stanley Fischer, head of Israel’s central bank from May 2005 until the end of June 2013 and before that a Citigroup Vice Chairman who was born in Zambia, is now Vice Chairman of the U. S. central bank, the Federal Reserve.)

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on July 16, 2016.

Hillary’s $165 Billion Arms Sale Fundraiser

Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States’ oil-rich ally in the Middle East.
Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region’s fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.
But now, in late 2011, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was formally clearing the sale, asserting that it was in the national interest. At press conferences in Washington to announce the department’s approval, an assistant secretary of state, Andrew Shapiro, declared that the deal had been’a top priority’ for Clinton personally. Shapiro, a longtime aide to Clinton since her Senate days, added that the ‘U. S. Air Force and U. S. Army have excellent relationships in Saudi Arabia.’
These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing – the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 – contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Internationational Business Times ‘ April 30, 2016.

The Partitioning Of Syria And The Great Game Of Empire

Russia’s decision to greatly reduce its military presence in Syria, coming as it did with little warning, has left the world struggling for explanations. Russia is to maintain a military presence at its naval base in Tartous and at the Khmeymim airbase. In fact Russia is ‘withdrawing without withdrawing’.
The partial withdrawal is seen by many as a message to the Assad government to not take Russia’s military aid for granted, and to be more flexible in the upcoming peace negotiations.
As Robert F. Kennedy Jr., attorney and nephew of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy explains, the major reason for the west’s attempt to overthrow the Assad government was to build a natural gas pipeline from Qatar that traversed Syria, capturing its newly discovered offshore reserves, and continued on through Turkey to the EU, as a major competitor to Russia’s Gazprom.
By re-establishing the Assad government in Syria, and permanently placing its forces at Syrian bases, the Russian’s have placed an impenetrable obstacle to the development of the Qatar gas pipeline. Russia has also placed itself at the nexus point of other new offshore gas discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Israel, Cyprus, and Greece.
It’s not hard to imagine a new Russian pipeline to Europe serving these new partners. Could easing of sanctions also lead to the implementation of the long-stalled plans of Gazprom for a second pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany for Russia and its partners, Royal Dutch Shell, Germany’s E. ON, and Austria’s OMV?

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on March 23, 2016.

Fox Cancels Republican Debate After Trump Pulls Out

Monday’s Republican presidential primary debate has been canceled after GOP front-runner Donald Trump declined to participate, citing a scheduling conflict.
As Politico reports,
Trump said on Wednesday that he would not attend, and will instead speak at a conference of the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC.
‘Nobody told me about debates. As you saw, I thought the last debate on CNN was the last debate,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning.
‘I’m doing a major speech in front of a very important group of people that night,”Trump said, adding that it had been “scheduled a while ago.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/16/2016.

When Cash Is Outlawed… Only Outlaws Will Have Cash

Control, Tax, Confiscate
BALTIMORE – Harvard economist Larry Summers is a reliable source of claptrap. And a frequent spokesman for the Deep State.
To bring new readers up to speed, voters don’t get a say in who runs the country. Instead, a ‘shadow government’ of elites, cronies, lobbyists, bureaucrats, politicians, and zombies – aka the Deep State – is permanently in power.
Put simply, it doesn’t matter which party is in power; the Deep State rules. Want to know what the Deep State is up to now? Read Larry Summers.
‘It’s time to kill the $100 bill,’ he wrote in the Washington Post (another reliable source of claptrap).
The Deep State wants you to use money it can easily control, tax, and confiscate. And paper currency is getting in its way.
France has already banned residents from making cash transactions of 1,000 ($1,114) or more. Norway and Sweden’s biggest banks urge the outright abolition of cash. And there are plans at the highest levels of government in Israel, India, and China to remove cash from circulation.
Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan predicts that cash ‘probably won’t exist’ 10 years from now. And here is Mr. Summers in the Washington Post:
‘Illicit activities are facilitated when a million dollars weighs 2.2 pounds as with the 500 euro note rather than more than 50 pounds, as would be the case if the $20 bill was the high denomination note.’
He proposes ‘a global agreement to stop issuing notes worth more than say $50 or $100. Such an agreement would be as significant as anything else the G7 or G20 has done in years.’
What makes Mr. Summers so confident that a ban on Ben Franklins would be a good thing? It turns out that a research paper – presented by Peter Sands, the former CEO of British bank Standard Chartered, and published for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government – says so.

This post was published at Acting-Man on February 18, 2016.

Revisiting The Wisdom Of Randolph Duke: ‘Something’s Wrong – – Sell! Sell!’

‘Mortimer: That’s not right. How can the price be going down?
Randolph: Something’s wrong! … They’re selling, Mortimer! … You, idiot! Get back in there at once and sell! Sell!’
Billy Ray, we are not looking good this morning.
S&P 500 futures were some 35 handles lower at last check following aNorth Korean nuclear test and a dismal Chinese non-manufacturing PMI report. We appear likely to test Monday’s lows on the opening.
‘What we have learned from history is that we haven’t learned from history.’ – Benjamin Disraeli
Let me underscore this morning that rationality wilts and gets sedated in the market when large doses of effortless money are administered (i.e. Federal Reserve stimulus).
At best, a calm occurs. At worse, an unrealistic ‘bull market in complacency’ forms. Investors come to believe that central bankers will indefinitely prevent our markets from returning to normal ‘price discovery.’ A new paradigm emerges in which players convince themselves that history doesn’t matter.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Doug Kass ‘ January 10, 2016.

The Russia/Turkey Clash – – – Some Relevant History

Turn to page 214 in the book ‘War-making for Dummies.’ You will find: ‘plan air operations right on your neighbor’s border, zig in and zag out, make rude gestures at enemy pilots, and shoot them down if you can.’
On Tuesday this week, the inevitable air clash occurred on the Syrian-Turkish border west of Aleppo. From what we know so far, two Russian SU-24 bombers that had been pounding anti-Damascus forces on the border briefly intruded on Turkish airspace for all of 17 seconds.
Turkish F-16 fighters, clearly pre-positioned in the area, pounced on the Russians and downed one Sukhoi with an air-to-air missiles. One of the Russian pilots was killed – probably by pro-Turkish Syrian tribesmen while parachuting to earth. A Russian Marine was killed when the helicopter in which he was flying to recuse the downed airman was hit by a US-supplied TOW anti-tank missile.
Turkey claimed it had warned the Russian warplane 10 times’ before shooting. How the Turks could pre-position its F-16′s and issue ten warnings within 17 seconds was not explained. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin furiously accused the Turks of murder and supporting ISIS extremists.
The US-led NATO alliance rushed to back up member Turkey, which moved forces to its long border with Syria. Putin ordered lethal, long-ranged S-400 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria and missile cruiser ‘Moskva’ to station off Syria’s Mediterranean coast. Both systems can cover large parts of western Syria, including areas routinely intruded upon by US, French, British and Israeli aircraft.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Eric Margolis ‘ November 26, 2015.

The Real Aggression In Ukraine – – The Kiev Dictatorship’s Assault On Its Own People And The Press

The media narrative about Ukraine – that the ‘Maiden revolution’ was a democratic European-values oriented revolt against a tyrannical Russian-controlled puppet – has always been a fairytale, largely perpetrated by the Western media in complicity with the US State Department and the European Union. Yet now that same media is being forced to reexamine their bias in the wake of the Ukrainian government’s banning of 34 journalists and seven bloggers from entering the country. The list of the banned includes journalists from Britain, Switzerland, Israel, Slovakia, Germany, Spain, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Estonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Latvia, Moldova, Macedonia, and Serbia.
Unlike most of the rest of the English-speaking news media, the Committee to Protect Journalists is reporting that the list of banned journalists represents but a portion of a larger blacklist consisting of 388 individuals and over 100 organizations forbidden from entering the country on the grounds of ‘national security’ and an alleged threat to Ukraine’s ‘territorial integrity.’ Here is the complete list (in Ukrainian). The Guardian is reportingthat the list also includes businesspeople and journalists from the United States.
After an uproar – not over the existence of such a list, but over the fact that three BBC reporters were included, along with two Spaniards who have been captured by the Islamic State in Syria, and a German writer – the six Western journalists everyone was making such a fuss about were removedfrom the list. The rest remain.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Justin Raimondo – September 21, 2015.

Washington’s Syria Policy – – Incoherence Squared

Centuries ago, an Andalusian philosopher known as Ibn Rushd wrote a treatise called Tahafut al-Tahafut, or ‘The Incoherence of the Incoherence.’ He was taking aim at an old rival named Al-Ghazzali, but were he alive today, Averroes, as he was known to the Europeans, might very well have been talking about U. S. policy in Syria instead.
Never very sensible to begin with, Washington’s foreign-policy gurus have been piling confusion upon confusion in response to charges that Russia is stepping up military aid for Bashar al-Assad’s besieged government in Damascus.
The words began flying over the Labor Day weekend when the Obama administration announced that Moscow was jetting in soldiers and advisers to an airfield south of Latakia on Syria’s Mediterranean coast. It was setting up prefab housing for as many as a thousand personnel and installing a portable air traffic control station, the administration said, while Reutersadded a few days later that Russia had sent two tank landing ships as well.
In short order, Secretary of State John Kerry was on the phone to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warning him that intervention ‘could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-ISIL Coalition operating in Syria.’
All the usual suspects then piled on. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg voiced concern over the alleged escalation, as did Israel, while NATO member Bulgaria quickly bowed to U. S. pressure to bar Russian aircraft from its airspace.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 13, 2015.

How the Iran Deal Serves America’s Interest In The Middle East

If Iran’s nuclear program were the primary concern of those lamenting the deal that John Kerry and representatives of five major countries concluded with Iran last Tuesday, they would be relatively pleased. Under the agreement, Iran will be stripped of 98 percent of its enriched uranium, all of its plutonium producing capacity, and 2/3 of its centrifuges, and will be placed under the most rigorous inspection regime in the history of nuclear proliferation negotiations. The cartoon image of Iran racing toward the bomb – presented last year by Prime Minister Netanyahu at the United Nations – may not have been reality-based, but if that’s what Israel is worried about, it can relax. Iran will not be racing toward the bomb.
But of course Israel is not pleased at all, and many of its volunteer spokesmen and politicians in the United States are railing against the deal as virtually the worst thing to happen in history. Netanyahu has let no one outdo him in hysteria. Iran is seeking to ‘take over the world,’ he told an Israeli audience last week. (As the leaders of Russia, China, France, Germany, and Britain signed onto the agreement, one wonders how they all managed to miss the world takeover threat Netanyahu sees so clearly.)
Netanyahu’s followers in the United States, AIPAC, the Republicans in Congress, and the Iraq War neocons will dutifully suit up and mount a serious effort to scuttle the deal. (AIPAC has ordered staffers to cancel their summer vacations.) But something far different from Iranian centrifuges is at stake. It has never been clear to the U. S. intelligence community (or for that matter to the Israeli one) that Iran wanted a nuclear weapon to begin with, and it is far from obvious what advantages, if any, Iran would accrue if it managed to cobble together one or two nuclear weapons. There really isn’t any evidence that Iran’s leaders want the destruction of their 5,000 year-old Persian civilization, which would be the inevitable consequence of using the supposed bombs that Iran’s leaders have always denied any interest in seeking.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By SCOTT MCCONNELL The American Conservative – July 23, 2015.

The State Department Terrorism Report – – A Witches Brew Of Confusion, Contradiction, Exaggeration And Hypocrisy

Last week’s two mass murders carried out by militants allegedly associated with the Islamic State (IS) took place shortly after the release of the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism 2014. Country Reports is 389 pages long, broken down by country and region. It also includes statistical charts, a focus on state sponsors, and analysis of transnational issues. It is worth a read if only to gain some insight into how the United States government views an issue as unwieldy and ultimately indefinable as ‘international terrorism.’
Initial reactions from interested parties and the media suggest that one can find something in the report to support nearly any point of view if one looks hard enough. The New York Times emphasized in its headline that ‘Iran still aids terrorism,’ a conclusion also reached by the neoconservative Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). Critics and friends of Israel, meanwhile, found the report’s explicit detailing of the Palestinian civilian deaths that occurred during the fighting in Gaza last summer either an ‘about time’ moment or just one more indication that the White House is intent on punishing Benjamin Netanyahu.
I found the report to be somewhat perplexing, at times contradictory in terms of how it defines terrorism and what conclusions it draws. The 21st century might well be called the century of the terrorist. Terrorism is constantly in the news in one form or another and American newspapers have been reporting that ‘terrorism trend lines are ‘worse than at any other point in history.” But what is terrorism?

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 3, 2015.

Washington’s Immense Incoherence: Close Air Support For Iran’s Clients At Tikrit, Death From The Sky In Aden

The U. S. is running around in circles in the Middle East, patching together coalitions here, acquiring strange bedfellows there, and in location after location trying to figure out who the enemy of its enemy actually is. The result is just what you’d expect: chaos further undermining whatever’s left of the nations whose frailty birthed the jihadism America is trying to squash.
And in a classic tale of unintended consequences, just about every time Washington has committed another blunder in the Middle East, Iran has stepped in to take advantage. Consider that country the rising power in the region and credit American clumsiness for the new Iranian ascendancy.
Today’s News – and Some History
The U. S. recently concluded air strikes in support of the Iraqi militias that Iran favors as they took back the city of Tikrit from the Islamic State (IS). At the same time, Washington began supplying intelligence and aerial refueling on demand for a Saudi bombing campaign against the militias Iran favors in Yemen. Iran continues to advise and assist Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom Washington would still like to depose and, as part of its Syrian strategy, continues to supply and direct Hezbollah in Lebanon, a group the U. S. considers a terror outfit.
Meanwhile, the U. S. has successfully negotiated the outlines of an agreement with Iran in which progress on severely constricting its nuclear program would be traded for an eventual lifting of sanctions and the granting of diplomatic recognition. This is sure to further bolster Tehran’s status as a regional power, while weakening long-time American allies Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on April 12, 2015.

All Praise To The Iranian Nuclear Framework – – It Finally Exposes The War Party’s Big Lie

The Iranian framework agreement is an astonishingly good deal, and has the potential to become a historic game-changer. As Robert Parry astutely observed, its about much more than sheaving the threat that Iran will get the bomb:
The April 2 framework agreement with Iran represents more than just a diplomatic deal to prevent nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. It marks a crossroad that offers a possible path for the American Republic to regain its footing and turn away from endless war.
The saliency of that observation lies in the fact that there is virtually nothing in the substance of the deal for the War Party to attack. So what they are doing is desperately hurtling the Iranian axis-of-evil narrative at the agreement, claiming that the regime is so untrustworthy, diabolical and existentially dangerous that no product of mere diplomacy is valid. The Iranians are by axiom hell-bent on evil and no mere ‘scrap of paper’ will stop them.
But therein dwells the game-changing opportunity. To defeat the deal, the War Party will have to defend its three-decade long campaign of exaggerations, distortions and bellicose animosity toward the Iranian state. But that is impossible because the axis-of-evil narrative was never remotely true. Indeed, if the truth be told the War Party has never been required to defend its spurious propaganda thanks in large part to a lazy, gullible mainstream press that has been as negligent on the Iranian evil empire meme as they were on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.
As will be demonstrated below, the evil Iran narrative rests on repetition and political bombast, not historical fact. Iran was turned into a pariah state not owing to its own deeds and actions, but because it served the domestic political needs of the War Party. That is, Bibi Netanyahu’s Israeli branch used it to win elections by mobilizing the right-wing and religious extremists against an external peril; and Washington’s neo-cons used it to rescue the Pentagon’s war machine and the military industrial complex after the cold war ended its reason for being.
So while the whole axis-of-evil narrative is bogus, the War Party is repairing to it in flat-out hysterical tones because it has nowhere else to go. Indeed, it did not take long for a shrill demagogue like GOP Senator Mark Kirk to play the Hitler card:

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by David Stockman – April 6, 2015.

China Targets Dollar, Washington Has Conniptions

Now even Israel – joined at the hip to the US though the relationship has run into rough waters – has applied to become a founding member of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Despite US gyrations to keep them from it, over 40 countries, including bosom buddies Australia, Britain, and Germany, have signed up to join. Japan is still wavering politely.
The US government sees the China-dominated AIIB as competition to the US-dominated World Bank and Asian Development Bank. But now that it is clear even to the White House that the US can’t stop the tide, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew backpedaled vigorously on Tuesday. The government would welcome the AIIB, he suddenly said, as long as certain conditions are met, such as adequate transparency.
So after this bruising setback, the US now has another opportunity to oppose China’s financial and monetary ambitions.
China is trying to get the IMF to bestow reserve currency status on the yuan, which would add the yuan to a glorious basket that includes the dollar and the euro – currently the dominant reserve currencies with a 63% and 22% share respectively. So it has been lobbying core members of the IMF behind the scenes for support, and they’re coming around despite US conniptions, the Wall Street Journal reported.
China also wants the yuan to become part of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights ‘in the foreseeable future,’ Yi Gang, Director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China, pointed out a couple of weeks ago. With the yuan, SDRs – which currently include only the dollar, the euro, the yen, and the British pound – would ‘undoubtedly’ be more ‘representative’ of the global economic landscape, Yi said.

This post was published at Wolf Street on April 2, 2015.

Retired US Army Major General Picks Apart Sen. Cotton’s ‘Scarlet Letter’ to Iran

The criticism continue to come in regarding Senator Tom Cotton and his gang of 47 working to kill the White House’s current nuclear negotiations with Iran.
One member of the military establishment who is fiercely opposed to the GOP’s ‘Scarlet Letter’ to Tehran, is retired Major Gen. Paul D. Eaton who deconstructed what he considered to be a fatally flawed political move (see full report below).
Regarding this Iran controversy, earlier, 21WIRE pointed out a major financial conflict of interestbetween Senator Cotton and the Israeli Lobby who are actively working to derail US government negotiations with Iran. It turns out that this is not the only conflict of interest as Crooks and Liars points out. Overt war hawk Cotton is also in bed with the military industrial complex:
‘So this cotton-picking Iran-letter-writing traitor is really sucking up after those fat defense campaign contributions! We are so very surprised! Via Lee Fang at the Intercept:
[…] Cotton will appear at an ‘Off the Record and strictly Non-Attribution’ event with the National Defense Industrial Association, a lobbying and professional group for defense contractors.
The NDIA is composed of executives from major military businesses such as Northrop Grumman, L-3 Communications, ManTech International, Boeing, Oshkosh Defense and Booz Allen Hamilton, among other firms.
Cotton strongly advocates higher defense spending and a more aggressive foreign policy. As The New Republic’s David Ramsey noted, ‘Pick a topic – Syria, Iran, Russia, ISIS, drones, NSA snooping – and Cotton can be found at the hawkish outer edge of the debate… During his senate campaign, he told a tele-townhall that ISIS and Mexican drug cartels joining forces to attack Arkansas was an ‘urgent problem.”

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MARCH 16, 2015.

Memo To Keynesian Money Printers: The Problem Is Faltering Supply Side Enterprise, Not Insufficient ‘Aggregate Demand’

The U. S. now ranks not first, not second, not third, but 12th among developed nations in terms of business startup activity. Countries such as Hungary, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Israel and Italy all have higher startup rates than America does.
We are behind in starting new firms per capita, and this is our single most serious economic problem. Yet it seems like a secret. You never see it mentioned in the media, nor hear from a politician that, for the first time in 35 years, American business deaths now outnumber business births.
The U. S. Census Bureau reports that the total number of new business startups and business closures per year – the birth and death rates of American companies – have crossed for the first time since the measurement began. I am referring to employer businesses, those with one or more employees, the real engines of economic growth. Four hundred thousand new businesses are being born annually nationwide, while 470,000 per year are dying.
You may not have seen this graph before.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on January 15, 2015.