Preet Bharara Fans Speculation He Was Probing Trump When He Was Fired

By the way, now I know what the Moreland Commission must have felt like.
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 12, 2017

There may have been much more to the termination of US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, than meets the casual glance.
According to Reuters, which cites a law enforcement source, two days before U. S. Attorney Preet Bharara was fired on Saturday, the high-profile New York prosecutor declined to take a call from President Donald Trump. Bharara reportedly contacted the DOJ for authorization to speak to the president on Thursday – one day before the DOJ announced it had requested all Obama-era attorneys to hand in their resignations. When he apparently did not receive it, Reuters adds that he called back the woman who had contacted him to say “he did not want to talk to Trump without the approval of his superiors.”
As reported previously, Bharara – in his role as chief federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York – oversaw several notable corruption and white-collar criminal cases and prosecutions of terrorism suspects. He was one of 46 Obama administration holdovers who were asked to resign by the Justice Department on Friday.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 12, 2017.

Trump Vows “Full-Court Press” As Opposition To ‘RyanCare’ Mounts

As the U. S. House of Representative marks up Paul Ryan’s American Healthcare Act, the battle between the moderate and conservative factions of the Republican Party continues to mount behind the scenes all while opposition from a variety of advocacy groups is also growing. ‘This is what good, conservative health-care reform looks like,’ House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday. ‘It is bold and long overdue. And it is us fulfilling our promises.’
Despite the public bickering, Republicans scored a victory early Thursday, pushing a measure through the House Ways and Means Committee repealing tax penalties on people who don’t buy insurance but otherwise progress on the bill has been slow.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, Ryan and House Republicans have to thread a very fine needle on healthcare legislation that appeals to a sufficient number of conservatives to pass the House while not alienating the more moderate factions of the party in the Senate.
House Republican leaders are under pressure to ease passage through the House by making changes that appease conservatives who want a more aggressive repeal of the ACA. Those changes risk further jeopardizing support in the Senate, where centrist Republicans have said they are concerned the proposal will cause too many people to lose coverage, particularly those with low incomes.
Underscoring the Senate’s central role, a group of Republican governors representing states that expanded Medicaid under the existing law have largely given up on lobbying the House and instead are focusing their efforts on the Senate, according to two people familiar with their thinking.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 9, 2017.

Great Moments In Local Government Tyranny

I focus most of my ire on the federal government because bad policy from Washington is the biggest threat to our nation’s freedom and prosperity.
But we also get plenty of bad policy from other levels of government. I periodically focus on the foibles of states such as California, Illinois, and New York.
Today, though, let’s contemplate the inane policies of local government.
I’ve shared plenty of examples in the post, even to the point of putting together two contests (here and here) to pick the craziest action by a local government.
Politicians and bureaucrats in cities and towns do lots of big things that are bad, such as creating massive unfunded liabilities, providing crappy schools, turning law enforcement into back-door tax collectors, and trying to turn children into wusses.
And they do lots of small things that are bad, such as shutting down children’s lemonade stands, arresting people for saving rafters from drowning, fining people for rescuing children from savage dog attacks, leaving a dead body in a pool for two days, requiring permits to be a bum, poisoning water supplies, and paying bureaucrats not to work for 12 years.
Let’s augment these lists.
As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, here’s an example of Chicago cronyism.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 5, 2017.

TURKEY: Reverse Regime Change, Replacing Secularism with Sultanism

Since 2002, the Republic of Turkey has been ruled by the Justice and Development Party (or AKP), founded Recep Tayyip Erdoan and other prominent figures hailing from Necmettin Erbakan’s Welfare Party (or Refah Partisi, better known under the acronym RP) that had made Islamist politics mainstream in 1990′s Turkey.
At first, Erdoan and his henchmen appeared to respect the rule of law and the political traditions established by Mustafa Kemal Atatrk (1881-1938) and his followers (colloquially known as Kemalists, adhering to the ideology of Kemalism). The economic boom of the early AKP years and the concomitant political clout have allowed AKP-led Turkey to go down a post-Kemalist path into distinctly Muslim waters where authoritarianism and Ottoman nostalgia have managed to seduce the bulk of the Turkish population.
In reality, the economic boom overseen by the AKP was nothing but a mirage, after all, largely financed by borrowed money and extreme privatization – ‘a flood of near zero-interest foreign capital.’ At present, the Turkish economy appears to be in the doldrums, with unemployment currently at 11.8%, the highest level reached since March 2010 according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (or TK in acronymized Turkish).
The well-respected Turkish economist Taner Berksoy, for example, opines that the Turkish economy will experience a major downturn this year, in spite of the government’s encouragement packages, citing internal political instability as well as geopolitical risks, including Syria’s not-so civil war next door, and a general slowing down of the global economy.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MARCH 5, 2017.

Ukraine Tax Chief Gets Heart Attack After Arrest Over $75 Million Theft

While much of the media attention remains glued to Russia for various reasons, a more notable development took place in neighboring Ukraine overnight, where on Friday Ukrainian state agencies tried to arrest the head of the tax and customs service Roman Nasirov, i.e., the equivalent to the head of the IRS, over the embezzlement of around $75 million. However, their efforts were hindered when the man, Roman Nasirov, was allegedly struck by a heart attack during the detention attempt and was shown stretchered into an ambulance and taken to Kiev’s Feofania hospital late on Thursday.
Anti-corruption prosecutor Nazar Kholodnytsky said investigators believe 38-year-old Nasirov helped exiled lawmaker Oleksandr Onishchenko deprive the state of 2 billion hryvnias ($75 million) in tax revenue linked to a gas deal, Reuters reports. The crackdown was seen as a landmark case following patchy anti-graft efforts from the Western-backed authorities.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 3, 2017.

SEC Nominee Has Represented 8 of the 10 Largest Wall Street Banks in Past Three Years

President Trump’s nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, Walter J. (Jay) Clayton, a law partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, has represented 8 of the 10 largest Wall Street banks as recently as within the last three years.
Clayton’s current resume at his law firm is somewhat misleading. It lists under ‘Representative Engagements’ in ‘Capital Markets/Leveraged Finance’ the following:
Initial public offering of $25 billion by Alibaba Group Holding Limited;
Initial public offering of $190 million by Moelis & Company;
Initial public offering of $2.375 billion by Ally Financial.
All three of the above IPOs occurred in 2014 – less than three years ago. A quick check of the prospectuses for the IPOs that were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Clayton, as a law partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, was representing the underwriters in the offering, which include the largest Wall Street banks. Put the three deals together and you have 8 of the 10 largest banks on Wall Street being represented by the SEC nominee within the past three years. These are the same banks that are serially charged by the SEC for increasingly creative means of fleecing the public.
If that’s not enough to conflict Clayton out of consideration to Chair the SEC post, then conflicts of interest have lost all meaning within the legal lexicon of the United States.

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

In the Banker War on Cash, New Zealand and Canada Are the Next Major Countries on the Banker Hit List

As we warned more than 4 years ago in this article here, the criminal banking cartel’s end game involves restricting freedom of speech and curbing any criticism of their criminal banking industry by banning cash and imposing an end game of 100% digital money upon all of us. Now with the benefit of 4 more years, there can be little doubt that indeed, that the banking industry has advanced their war against all of us by accelerating their war on cash, and attempting to disguise this war on cash as a war on corruption.
Any logical person would understand the vast irony in such a statement, especially since bankers are leading these false charges of a war on cash as a war on corruption, not only given the fact that the banking industry is the most corrupt industry on the planet, but also given the fact that bankers provide much of the dirty money that feeds global stock markets by laundering tons of dirty money for the world’s most violent drug cartels. Recall that in 2012, HSBC bankers had to pay a $1.9B fine for willingly laundering hundreds of millions, and more likely billions of dollars, of dirty money for the largest and most murderous Mexican drug cartels. Though HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver unconvincingly denied approving of these transactions, any logical person would conclude that it is next to impossible for the CEO of a bank not to know that origin of the source of hundreds of millions of dollars of cash flowing into his bank.
In addition to profiting handsomely by conducting business with the largest, most violent drug cartels in the world, such as the Sinaloa drug cartel, HSBC bankers were also convicted of openly conducting business with terrorists linked to Al-Queda, Hezbollah, and Russian mobsters, and for openly moving money for rogue states like North Korea and the Sudan. In fact, Jack Blum, a former US Senate investigative attorney, stated, ‘[HSBC bankers] violated every goddamn law in the book. They took every imaginable form of illegal and illicit business.’ Of course HSBC bankers were not the only bankers convicted of laundering huge sums of illicit money and profiting from this illegal act. Wachovia bankers, Standard Chartered bankers, Citibank bankers, Wells Fargo bankers, and dozens of other bankers were also found guilty of these criminal activities as well, exposing the systemic criminal nature of the banking industry.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 29 January 2017.

11/1/17: Mr. Trump’s Plan for Addressing Conflicts of Interest is a Fig Leaf of Corporate Governance

Why PEOTUS Donal Trump’s plan to donate hotels profits earned from foreign government payments to the U. S. Treasury is a fig leaf of corporate governance measures?
***
There are several reasons why a commitment to donate profits arising from foreign governments’ payments to his hotels will not reduce, nor even alleviate, business incentives for potential conflict of interest that may arise in the future. Firstly, donating profits from such activities requires that profits are declared on these activities in the first place. Since profits are declared across the entire business, not on the basis of individual transactions, Mr. Trump can use full extent of tax laws and accounting procedures, including cumulated losses deductions and tax shields on investment, to effectively reduce such denotable profits to nil over the next 4-8 years.

This post was published at True Economics on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Is Trump Draining the Swamp or Filling It?

Trump has broken his word and is by no means draining the swamp – he is filling it. He has really betrayed a lot of people by his nomination of Gary D. Cohn as Director of the National Economic Council, which is a policy-making position for domestic and international economic issues.
The one legal firm in New York that defends the bankers is Sullivan & Cromwell. Trump has named a lawyer from that firm, Jay Clayton, to serve as Wall Street’s top cop as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. There is absolutely no possible way Clayton will call the bankers to account for anything. In fact, it would probably be a huge conflict of interest to bring charges against any bankers in New York when Sullivan & Cromwell will most likely represent them (including Goldman Sachs).

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jan 11, 2017.

US Puppet Ban Ki-moon Finally Leaves the UN – After Gutting it from the Inside

21st Century Wire says…

History shows how the United States has staged dozens of violent coups worldwide since the end of WWII. Here the CIA will simply install its own compliant puppet leader in order to better streamline US interests with those of the target nation. This practice was not only confined to nation states, however, as we can see with the out-going UN Secretary General.
The whole basis of the UN charter was to avoid the kind of undeclared wars of aggression suffered at the hands of Nazi Germany. Back in October, 21WIRE’s Vanessa Beeleyexplained:
‘To compare Saudi Arabia’s belligerent actions in Yemen to Nazi Germany’s undeclared wars of aggression prior to WWII is no exaggeration. In fact, one could make the argument that this Saudi-US joint venture is much worse, and a far more dangerous precedent. Likewise, the failure of a corrupt UN (who effectively sold Saudi Arabia its seat on at the head of the UN Human Rights Council ), led by an impotent Secretary General in Ban-ki Moon, to censure Saudi Arabia for its flagrant violation of international law, the Nuremberg Principles and the entire Geneva Convention content and implied framework – leaves the UN in the exact same position as the League of Nations in 1938.’
Now that US puppet Ban-Ki Moon is finally on his way out, we can see the true scope of the corruption he’s presided over – and the irreparable damage he’s inflicted on this international institution…

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JANUARY 10, 2017.

THE TITANIC SAILS AT DAWN: WARNING SIGNS POINT TO DANGER AHEAD IN 2017

‘When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?’ – Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
Despite our best efforts, we in the American police state seem to be stuck on repeat, reliving the same set of circumstances over and over and over again: egregious surveillance, strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, government spying, censorship, retaliatory arrests, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, indefinite detentions, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, etc.
Unfortunately, as a nation we’ve become so desensitized to the government’s acts of violence, so accustomed to reports of government corruption, and so anesthetized to the sights and sounds of Corporate America marching in lockstep with the police state that few seem to pay heed to the warning signs blaring out the message: Danger Ahead.
Remember, the Titanic received at least four warnings from other ships about the presence of icebergs in its path, with the last warning issued an hour before disaster struck. All four warnings were ignored.
Like the Titanic, we’re plowing full steam ahead into a future riddled with hidden and not-so-hidden dangers. We too have been given ample warnings, only to have them drowned out by a carefully choreographed cacophony of political noise, cultural distractions and entertainment news – what the Romans termed ‘bread and circuses’ – aimed at keeping the American people polarized, pacified and easily manipulated.
However, there is still danger ahead. The peril to our republic remains the same.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JANUARY 5, 2017.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, HOUSE GOP VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY TO EVISCERATE ETHICS WATCHDOG

Republicans in the U. S. House of Representatives didn’t even wait for the new congressional session to begin before betraying President-elect Donald Trump’s key promise ‘to drain the swamp’ of political corruption.
On Monday evening, in a closed-door party meeting, GOP lawmakers in the House voted overwhelmingly (119 to 74) to neutralize and reconfigure the Office of Congressional Ethics by stripping its independent authority and making it subservient to the very members of congress it was designed to oversee.
Though Trump himself has already showed (repeatedly) how the ‘drain the swamp’ mantra was nothing more than empty campaign rhetoric, the Republican Party’s decision to ditch independent oversight of themselves looked to many like an ominous way to kick off the New Year or the 115th Congress, whose members will be sworn in Tuesday.
The vote was an approval of an amendment put forth by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. If finalized, as the Huffington Post explains, the change would:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JANUARY 3, 2017.

HUNDREDS OF DRUG CONVICTIONS OVERTURNED AFTER CORRUPT COPS CAUGHT FRAMING INNOCENT PEOPLE

Leroy Gonzalez says that he spent over two years in jail after he was framed by crooked cops and wrongfully convicted of a drug charge. While Gonzalez sat in jail, the officers that arrested him continued their spree of corruption until it eventually caught up with them, resulting in a corruption investigation.
Unsurprisingly, after being investigated by their own agency, the officers were acquitted and allowed to return to their jobs in July of 2015. However, their luck ran out when one of the officers in question, Officer Jeffrey Walker, ended up getting caught in a drug-related robbery. In court, Walker quickly turned on his partners, and admitted that officers Thomas Liciardello, Michael Spicer, and Perry Betts regularly planted evidence and framed innocent people.
When Gonzalez learned that the officers who framed him were under suspicion of corruption, he filed his own lawsuit in relation to his two years spent behind bars.
In the lawsuit, Gonzalez says that the officers ‘unlawfully and maliciously planted numerous items of false evidence in [his] vicinity to create the illusion of probable cause [and] justify their grossly illegal police misconduct.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 30, 2016.

Police State Canada – RCMP Now Making Law

The RCMP are now making and enforcing their own version of criminal law in Canada. Good for them. So far civilian compliance with this ‘interpretation’ is zero.
Way to go boys!
Nothing like pissing off the most upstanding and law-abiding people in the country. Based on this sort of underhanded and unethical behavior I am predicting that the Liberals, assuming they do nothing to discourage it, will not be re-elected.
As for the RCMP, the average Joe’s trust and regard for them here drops yearly. They will be lucky if they are not disbanded in my lifetime. I know I for one will be heartbroken when it eventually happens.


This post was published at The Burning Platform on December 30, 2016.

Nassim Taleb Explains “How To Go Bankrupt & Be Loved By The Many”

Inequality vs Inequality
There is inequality and inequality.
The first is the inequality people tolerate, such as one’s understanding compared to that of people deemed heroes, say Einstein, Michelangelo, or the recluse mathematician Grisha Perelman, in comparison to whom one has no difficulty acknowledging a large surplus. This applies to entrepreneurs, artists, soldiers, heroes, the singer Bob Dylan, Socrates, the current local celebrity chef, some Roman Emperor of good repute, say Marcus Aurelius; in short those for whom one can naturally be a ‘fan’. You may like to imitate them, you may aspire to be like them; but you don’t resent them.
The second is the inequality people find intolerable because the subject appears to be just a person like you, except that he has been playing the system, and getting himself into rent seeking, acquiring privileges that are not warranted -and although he has something you would not mind having (which may include his Russian girlfriend), he is exactly the type of whom you cannot possibly become a fan. The latter category includes bankers, bureaucrats who get rich, former senators shilling for the evil firm Monsanto, clean-shaven chief executives who wear ties, and talking heads on television making outsized bonuses. You don’t just envy them; you take umbrage at their fame, and the sight of their expensive or even semi-expensive car trigger some feeling of bitterness. They make you feel smaller.
There may be something dissonant in the spectacle of a rich slave.
The author Joan Williams, in an insightful article, explains that the working class is impressed by the rich, as role models. Michle Lamont, the author of The Dignity of Working Men, whom she cites, did a systematic interview of blue collar Americans and found present a resentment of professionals but, unexpectedly, not of the rich.
It is safe to accept that the American public -actually all public -despise people who make a lot of money on a salary, or, rather, salarymen who make a lot of money. This is indeed generalized to other countries: a few years ago the Swiss, of all people almost voted a law capping salaries of managers . But the same Swiss hold rich entrepreneurs, and people who have derived their celebrity by other means, in some respect.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 28, 2016.

Saudi Arabia Lobbying To Amend Sept 11 Law

Following last week’s report that Saudi Arabia is starting to apply pressure on the Trump administration by hinting it could move the Aramco IPO away from New York to some still undeteremined venue due to concerns the recently passed Sept 11 law could make business in the US problematic, on Sunday Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said he has been lobbying US legislators to change a law allowing victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks to sue the kingdom.
According to AFP, Adel al-Jubeir told reporters he had returned from an extended stay in the United States, which was partly “to try to persuade them that there needs to be an amendment of the law”, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). In September, the US Congress voted overwhelmingly to override President Barack Obama’s veto of the JASTA. While 15 of the 19 Al-Qaeda hijackers who carried out the 9/11 attacks were Saudi, Riyadh continues to deny any ties to the plotters who killed nearly 3,000 people, and is worried disclosures in court could lead to material complications about conducting business in America.
“We believe the law, that curtails sovereign immunities, represents a grave danger to the international system,” Jubeir said at a joint press conference with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 19, 2016.

Italy Banking Crisis is Also a Huge Crime Scene

Toxic loans as a result of corruption, political kickbacks, fraud, and abuse.
The Bank of Italy’s Target 2 liabilities towards other Eurozone central banks – one of the most important indicators of banking stress – has risen by 129 billion in the last 12 months through November to 358.6 billion. That’s well above the 289 billion peak reached in August 2012 at the height of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.
Foreign and local investors are dumping Italian government bonds and withdrawing their funding to Italian banks. The bank at the heart of Italy’s financial crisis, Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), has bled 6 billion of ‘commercial direct deposits’ between September 30 and December 13, 2 billion of which since December 4, the date of Italy’s constitutional referendum.
Italy’s new Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who took over from Matteo Renzi after his defeat in the referendum, said his government – a virtual carbon copy of the last one – is prepared to do whatever it takes to stop MPS from collapsing and thereby engulfing other European banks. His options would include directly supporting Italy’s ailing banks, in contravention of the EU’s bail-in rules passed into law at the beginning of this year. Though now, that push comes to shove, the EU seems happy to look the other way.
While attention is focused on the rescue of MPS, news regarding another Italian bank, Banca Erturia, has quietly slipped by the wayside.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Dec 18, 2016.

Clinton Investigation Back On: FBI Agents In NY Ordered To Continue Foundation Probe

After the election, many speculated that the probe of the Clinton Foundation would be laid to rest. But now, according to an exclusive report from the Daily Caller, senior officials at FBI headquarters in Washington DC have apparently instructed agents in the New York field office to continue their investigation of the Clinton Foundation. According to the source, the instructions were passed on to the NYC field office last week and involves operations in at least five cities, including: New York, Little Rock, Washington, D. C., Los Angeles and Miami.
Officials at FBI headquarters instructed its New York field office to continue its corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation following the election of Republican candidate Donald Trump, according to a former senior law enforcement official.
The instructions ordered agents to ‘go forward’ with their ongoing inquiry into the Clinton Foundation which is focusing on issues of corruption and money laundering, according to the source.
‘There were no instructions to shut it down, to discontinue or to stand down on the investigation, but to continue its work,’ the former official told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2016.