The Fed will be a New Creature Soon, and No One Knows What It’ll Look Like

Markets are blowing off this uncertainty for now.
On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Randal Quarles, President Trump’s first Fed nominee, as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. During his confirmation hearing, Quarles said it was time to roll back some of the regulations that were imposed on banks after they’d imploded and threatened to take down the global financial system. He will become the chief bank regulator at the Fed, filling the slot that Daniel Tarullo left behind when he resigned unexpectedly in April.
Quarles is founder of private investment firm, The Cynosure Group. Fed Governor Jerome Powell is also a Cynosure alumnus. Quarles had been a partner at private equity firm The Carlyle Group and served as undersecretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush. WHIRRRR makes the revolving door.
One down, four more to go.
The Fed’s Board of Governors has seven slots, currently chaired by Janet Yellen. After Quarles’ appointment, potentially four more will need to be filled over the next few months.
The seven board members are part of the policy-setting 12-member Federal Open Markets Committee. The other five members of the FOMC are the president of the New York Fed and on a one-year rotating basis four presidents of the remaining 11 regional Federal Reserve Banks.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Oct 6, 2017.

The Military Industrial Complex Is Undermining US National Security

The ongoing problems with the F-35 and other military programs, stemming from virtually unlimited budgets, underline the inefficiency of the American military-industrial complex (MIC). In contrast, Moscow develops armaments capable of counteracting the latest technological advances of the US at minimal cost.
***
One of a state’s most insidious mechanisms is the inefficiency of the military-industrial sector. When looking at the world’s first superpower, this becomes all the more pronounced. Still, the ongoing problems highlighted by the F-35 program and failed missile interceptions by ABM systems are a good demonstration of how inefficiency in the US military sector has risen to worrying levels.
The main cause of these issues is related to the huge military-industrial complex that employs hundreds of thousands Americans directly or indirectly. The unhealthy composition of this power conglomerate often employs a revolving door involving politicians and board members from large arms-producing companies. This situation raises questions about corruption as well as a number of obvious conflicts of interest.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 27, 2017.

NOT JUST SYRIA: 5 HUGE NEWS STORIES TO KEEP AN EYE ON AMID THE MADNESS

The world’s eyes and ears have once again turned toward Syria following last week’s chemical weapons attack and U. S. President Donald Trump’s subsequent air strikes on the Assad government. Mainstream media, independent media, and social media platforms are fixing fierce attention on the ongoing developments.
These events undoubtedly deserve widespread, ongoing scrutiny. From the United States government’s lack of evidence that the Syrian government was behind the chemical attack to the media’s complicity in driving a pro-war narrative and president Trump’s hypocrisy in bombing Syria – after criticizing former president Barack Obama for doing the same thing – further critical analysis of the recent airstrikes is vital.
But even as skepticism toward these events should remain heightened, so should awareness of countless other major developments. Here are five to follow:
1. Trump Appoints Pharmaceutical Consultant to Head the FDA – This week, the president appointed Scott Gottlieb, a pharmaceutical industry insider who has served the boards of multiple pharmaceutical companies, to chair the Food and Drug Administration. Gottlieb currently still works as a consultant for GlaxoSmithKline. He has received $414,000 from GSK, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals. He has also received tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Mikart, as well as other corporations – including Goldman Sachs. He has taken several trips through Washington’s revolving door, with brief stints at the FDA mixed in with multiple positions consulting pharmaceutical companies. Trump’s pick follows in the footsteps of Barack Obama, who also appointed a pharmaceutical industry insider to chair the FDA.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on APRIL 11, 2017.

Big Pharma and the FDA vs. Nutritional Supplements

“While the idea of admitting that a bureaucracy is necessary, I must also admit that marketers are liars and if left unregulated will rival politicians in their dishonesty when making product claims. Both admissions shake my libertarian sensibilities to the core.”
First, a free market eventually corrects for the condition of “marketers are liars,” unlike with politicians. Furthermore, not ALL marketers are liars.
Second, what makes you think the FDA, or any government bureaucracy for that matter, doesn’t lie? If one thinks we need an FDA, then one should think that we also need an EPA, FED, NLRB, EEOC, and on, and on, and on … further violating your libertarian sensibilities.
The head administrator of the FDA is pretty much a revolving door with Big Pharma:
is government regulation always the knee jerk reaction to every ill that affects society? Can you creatively think of some other solutions that don’t violate the Constitution of the United States? Keep reading, and maybe some other ideas will present themselves.
More people die every year from legalized drugs than from taking supplements, not to mention the drugs the FDA eventually gets around to recalling, after they’ve already done their damage. In addition, the FDA is continually pushed by vested interests (Big Pharma and lobbied government officials) to cut corners so that drugs can get to market faster. So much for the efficacy of the FDA! So, you want more of the same?
lot of medical doctors are in the back pocket of Big Pharma, not to mention the AMA:
can go here to find out if your particular doctor is on the take:

This post was published at Gary North on March 25, 2017.

The Deep State Dystopia To Come

Long-time Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren refers to the murky agencies at work to ensure this planetary plan stays on track as the ‘deep state,’ in his book of the same name.
He writes that it includes key elements of the national security state, which ensure continuity of policy despite the superficial about-faces from one administration to the next. The deep state is effectively a warlike oligarchy, hell-bent on full spectrum dominance, driven by a lust for wealth and power, and anxious to inscribe its name in history. Specifically, Lofgren says, the deep state includes the Department of Defense, the State Department, the National Intelligence Agencies, Wall Street, the defense industry, and the energy consortium, among other major private players. They share common agendas, operate a revolving door of employees, and have a collective distaste for democracy, transparency, and regulation.
The deep state is the link between military interventions and trans-pacific trade deals, between sanctions and IMF loans. All of these tools, be they arms or loans or legal structures, serve a single purpose: the overarching control of world resources by a global community of corporate elites. One can also see how these three instruments of policy and power all do tremendous damage to a particular entity, the nation-state.

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

We All Lose: Obama’s Legacy And What It Means For A Trump Presidency

Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,
‘This light of history is pitiless; it has a strange and divine quality that, luminous as it is, and precisely because it is luminous, often casts a shadow just where we saw a radiance; out of the same man it makes two different phantoms, and the one attacks and punishes the other, the darkness of the despot struggles with the splendor of the captain. Hence a truer measure in the final judgment of the nations. Babylon violated diminishes Alexander; Rome enslaved diminishes Caesar; massacred Jerusalem diminishes Titus. Tyranny follows the tyrant. Woe to the man who leaves behind a shadow that bears his form.’ ? Victor Hugo, Les Misrables
Let’s talk about President Obama’s legacy, shall we?
This was a candidate who was ushered into office promising hope and change, pledging to put an end to the endless wars that were bankrupting the country (he was actually awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in anticipation of his efforts to bring about world peace), and vowing to put an end of the corporate revolving door that had turned our republic into an oligarchy.
After eight years in office, Barack Obama leaves our nation with a weakened Constitution that has been dealt one crippling blow after another by court rulings and government overreach, with more militarized police empowered to shoot first and ask questions later, with more SWAT team raids, with more government corruption, with more debt than ever before ($19 trillion and rising), with more racial tensions bubbling over into confrontations, with even greater surveillance intruding into the privacy of the citizenry, with less tolerance for free speech and thought, with taxpayers groaning under the weight of even more taxes disguised as fines and fees, with a more ‘imperial’ president empowered to act unilaterally through the use of signing statements and executive orders, with a greater risk of blowback from military occupations, drone strikes and endless wars abroad, and with a citizenry more broken and oppressed than ever.

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

THE TOP 10 PRESCRIBED PHARMACEUTICALS OF 2016 ARE A SIGN THAT FOOD IS KILLING US

Our food supply is being compromised and bastardized by corporations who profit handsomely by feeding the American public ever-more processed, modified, and chemical-laden foods. As if this were some kind of revolving door conspiracy, when food makes us sick, we spend more money on healthcare, and a look at the most prescribed medications of 2016 make it clear there is a direct link between poor food and poor health in America.
The 2016 list of the 50 most prescribed medications in America, as reported by Lowest Med, includes among the top ten, nine medications used to address health problems that can be primarily associated with an unhealthy diet.
The list includes the following:
Medications for hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart problems:

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

‘Following the money’ in travel surveillance

The growth of a homeland-security industrial complex funded by single-source contracts and shielded by knee-jerk invocation of ‘security’ as an excuse for secrecy has created huge opportunities for cronyism and collusion between lobbyists, contractors, and government officials.
The poster child for this revolving door and its invidious effects on government policies and spending is former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and his work as a lobbyist for Rapiscan, the supplier of the TSA’s virtual strip-search machines.
Unsurprisingly, the US isn’t alone in allowing the commercial interests of spy-tech companies to drive government decisions to spy on travelers.
In the latest issue of the EDRi-gram newsletter, our friends at the European Digital Rights Initiative explore ‘The curious tale of the French prime minister, PNR and peculiar patterns.’ It seems that the French military technology contractor Safran, whose ‘Morpho’ division is one of the leading vendors of turnkey PNR-based traveler surveillance and profiling systems, is one of the largest employers in the home town ofFrench Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

This post was published at Papers Please on Oct 7, 2016.

Heidi Cruz Rejoins Goldman Sachs

While Goldman is best known for creating the revolving door, where it either soaks up SEC “regulators”, spawns countless central bankers, Treasury Secretaries like Hank Paulson (whose departure from the firm allowed him a tax free cash out on his vested GS equity), NJ governors and client fund comminglers like Jon Corzine, a new function was revealed today: providing sabbaticals for the spouses of presidential candidates. Case in point: Heidi Cruz, who left Goldman Sachs last year to help her husband Ted Cruz in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, is returning to the bank in a newly created role in the Houston office.
According to Bloomberg which first reported the story, Cruz will focus on helping to win new clients, focusing on strategic relationships, and report to David Fox, head of private wealth management for the southwest region, according to a memo to staff on Friday.
Here is her latest bio:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2016.

The Banking Model from Hell Has Now Killed the IPO Market

The horror stories that continue to spill out about what Wall Street banks are doing behind their cloistered walls have blurred the actual function of Wall Street: to efficiently allocate capital so that new industries can be born and thrive in America, creating new jobs and a rising standard of living for all of our fellow citizens.
In the same week that the U. S. Senate Banking committee was taking testimony that one of the biggest Wall Street banks, Wells Fargo, was opening two million unauthorized customer accounts over at least a four-year span in order to generate fees and meet daily sales quotas, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that just 68 new companies had been listed for public trading this year, a drop of 51 percent from the 138 companies that had gone public by this time last year.
Let’s recap what the public has learned over the past eight years about the Wall Street banking model from hell. (1) The greatest housing collapse since the Great Depression resulted from Wall Street banks muzzling their internal whistleblowers who wrote memos to management and shouted from the rafters that the banks’ mortgage loan departments were ignoring their own compliance rules and buying up tens of thousands of mortgages with wildly overstated incomes by the mortgage holder. (2) The banks then knowingly bundled these toxic mortgages into pools and paid the ratings agencies, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, to assign triple-A ratings to the offerings (called securitizations). (3) The banks knew these toxic mortgages would fail but they sold them to their customers as sound investments. (4) The banks also used their insider knowledge that the mortgages were going to fail to place bets (short sales) and reap billions of dollars in profits as the U. S. housing market collapsed and families were thrown into the streets.
Last December, ‘The Big Short’ movie began to play in theatres across America, allowing millions of people to see how the unchecked, insidious greed of Wall Street had destroyed the nation’s economy along with the reputation of Wall Street, the ratings agencies and the revolving door regulators. (See video below.) The movie was based on real-life people on Wall Street and adapted from the book by the same title by author Michael Lewis, an authoritative source through his previous career on Wall Street.

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

The SEC’s Former Top “HFT Expert” Joins HFT Titan Citadel

Last April, we commented on the most blatant (pre) revolving door we had ever seen at the SEC (and there have been many): the departure of the SEC’s head HFT investigator, Gregg Berman, who during his tenure at the agency (whose alleged purpose is to keep the “market” fair, efficient and unmanipulated) did everything in his power to draw attention away from HFTs. He did that, for example, by blaming Waddell and Reed for the May 2010 flash crash. This is what Berman, whose full title was the SEC’s “Associate Director of the Office of Analytics and Research in the Division of Trading and Markets” said in the final version of the agency’s Flash Crash report:
At 2:32 p.m., against this backdrop of unusually high volatility and thinning liquidity, a large fundamental trader (a mutual fund complex) [ZH: Waddell and Reed] initiated a sell program to sell a total of 75,000 E-Mini contracts (valued at approximately $4.1 billion) as a hedge to an existing equity position.” Several years later, when the HFT lobby made a coordinated push to eliminate human spoofers (which algos were apparently helpless against without regulatory intervention), the SEC changed its story entirely and blamed the flash crash on one solitary trader, Navinder Sarao. By then the SEC had lost all credibility. It had also lost Gregg Berman, who six months after quitting the SEC ended up taking a nondescript job at EY, where he joined the Financial Services Organization (FSO) of Ernst & Young LLP as a Principal focusing on market risk and data analytics.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 17, 2016.

Clinton’s Pay-to-Play Is the Natural Consequence of Big Government

Hillary Clinton has been taking heat for her relationship with the Clinton Foundation. Did individuals and firms making large donations to the Foundation, or paying large speaking or consulting fees to Bill Clinton, get preferred access to Ms. Clinton as Secretary of State? Is there a revolving door between the Clinton campaign and the Foundation’s fundraising staff? Are these relationships the subject of the emails she deleted from her private server?
These questions point to a more basic issue about the role of money in politics. What, exactly, do large corporations get in exchange for their campaign contributions? Ms. Clinton gave 92 speeches between 2013 and 2015 that netted her $21.6 million, including $1.8 million for just 8 speeches to large banks. (CNN provides eye-opening details about her speaking requirements – the $225,000 fee is just the tip of the iceberg.) Ms. Clinton is hardly known for her business acumen; her infamous cattle-futures trades are widely recognized as a political payoff, and her views on corporate governance have been ridiculed by experts. Her opinions on world politics are already in the public domain, so I doubt that Goldman Sachs was getting $200K worth of unique insight into global affairs. Bill Clinton, with zero experience in higher-education administration, bagged $17 million to be honorary chancellor of an obscure for-profit university. Why are these companies throwing their money away?
Most people assume that campaign contributions, speaking and consulting fees and lucrative board positions for former and future politicians, and similar payments are pure graft, the kinds of pay-to-play arrangements common under crony capitalism. And some of these transfers surely do buy access and even specific policy outcomes. There are several problems with the common assumption, however. First, research on campaign contributions finds that the expected rate of return on these payments is quite high and yet, given the potential gains, the contribution amounts are remarkably small. Second, there is little systematic evidence that policies are, on average, greatly influenced by such contributions, leading some to suggest that this form of payment to politicians and political parties is mainly consumption, not investment.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on August 26, 2016.

Trump is Goldman’s Golden Goose

The reporting of Susanne Craig of the New York Times and David Cay Johnston, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting when he was with that paper, and has recently published The Making of Donald Trump, combine to allow us to draw a critical insight about Trump and Goldman Sachs. From Susanne Craig, we learn:
[A]n office building on Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, of which Mr. Trump is part owner, carries a $950 million loan. Among the lenders: the Bank of China, one of the largest banks in a country that Mr. Trump has railed against as an economic foe of the United States, and Goldman Sachs, a financial institution he has said controls Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, after it paid her $675,000 in speaking fees.
Goldman Sachs is infamous for two things, both of them relevant here. Its senior managers encourage the most incestuous of relationships between the government and the firm. The revolving door is an exclusive penthouse elevator that rockets Goldman executives back and forth from positions of immense power in government and the firm. As the then President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (now, Deputy Chair of the FDIC) told a small group of us several years ago: ‘For the last 20 years we’ve been holding an auction to fill the position of U. S. Treasury Secretary – and of late Goldman Sachs has been winning.’
Second, Goldman is infamous for ripping off its clients. It is the place that structured deals like Abacus to deceive and rip off its customers. Matt Taibbi aptly dubbed them the Vampire Squid.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by William Black ‘ August 23, 2016.

Here’s Why Americans Are Mad as Hell at Wall Street and Washington

Yesterday we published our 1,007th article here at Wall Street On Parade on the insidiously corrupt financial system in the United States known as Wall Street. It’s a system that now operates as an institutionalized wealth transfer mechanism that is hallowing out the middle class, leaving one of every five children in our nation living in poverty, while funneling the plunder to the top one-tenth of one percent.
Tens of millions of Americans clearly understand that an entrenched system of corruption such as this, perpetuated through a revolving door between Wall Street and Washington, while enshrined by a political campaign finance system that recycles a portion of the plunder to ensure greater plunders, will inevitably leave the nation’s economy in tatters – again. That’s because systemic corruption and legalized bribery within the financial arteries of the nation can only create grossly perverse economic outcomes.
The actual role of Wall Street is to fairly and efficiently allocate capital to maximize positive economic outcomes for the nation. Under the current model, Wall Street is focused solely on maximizing profits in any manner possible, including fraud and collusion, to maximize personal enrichment. When Senator Bernie Sanders said during his campaign stops and a presidential debate that ‘the business model of Wall Street is fraud,’ there was a long, substantive archive of facts to back up that assertion.
Consider the intensely corrupt Wall Street analyst research practices that led to the Nasdaq crash at the turn of this century. Writing in the New York Times on March 15, 2001, Ron Chernow said it best: ‘Let us be clear about the magnitude of the Nasdaq collapse. The tumble has been so steep and so bloody – close to $4 trillion in market value erased in one year – that it amounts to nearly four times the carnage recorded in the October 1987 crash.’ Chernow compared the Nasdaq stock market, filled with companies boosted by intentionally corrupt Wall Street research, to a ‘lunatic control tower that directed most incoming planes to a bustling, congested airport known as the New Economy while another, depressed airport, the Old Economy, stagnated with empty runways. The market functioned as a vast, erratic mechanism for misallocating capital across America,’ said Chernow.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on August 12, 2016.

Keiser Report: Revolving Doors (Summer Solutions series E943)

The following video was published by RT on Jul 21, 2016
In this special episode of the 2016 Summer Solutions series of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy talk first to former banker, now author, Nomi Prins, about a solution to the revolving door between Wall Street and DC. They discuss whether or not Hillary Clinton’s highly paid speeches to Goldman Sachs matter and whether or not Wall Street expects anything in return for its contributions to her campaign. In the second half, Max and Stacy talk to UK activist Tina Rothery about fracking being forced upon the people of North Yorkshire, who have overwhelmingly expressed their resistance to the ‘controversial’ natural gas and oil extraction method. They ask what the solution is going forward when elected officials choose corporations over populations.

Spiro Reports-‘Too Big to Jail’: The Revolving Doors- From HSBC to the Clintons

The Revolving Doors between governments and corporations go way beyond conflicts of interest. A criminal network exists that is subverting the judicial system, ensuring business as usual for the elite. Let’s take a look at a great recent example of this phenomenon in the case of Hillary Clinton and HSBC, and their gate-keepers, from FBI’s James Comey and DOJ’s Loretta Lynch, to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Henry Kissinger!


This post was published at Boiling Frogs Post on JULY 15, 2016.

This is by How Much ($$) Big Pharma Fools Investors

A scheme we call ‘consensual hallucination.’
Yesterday, we were bashing big pharmaceutical companies for jacking up prices of patent-protected drugs at obscene rates. Those double-digit price increases were largely responsible for the sales increases these companies reported. Drugs have become the largest wholesale category, at $54.3 billion in May, or 12.2% of total wholesales.
This boom is based on price increases at a great cost to US consumers and taxpayers. It’s cannibalizing the rest of the economy. But it’s made possible by the abuse of the patent system, the increasingly monopolistic structures in the industry after a tsunami of mergers funded by cheap credit and a soaring stock market – as planned by the Fed – along with legislators and regulators that have been compromised by the big money and the revolving door [read… This is What’s Cannibalizing the US Economy].
And we said that investors were soaking up the money. But even investors are getting schemed.
In its report released on Friday, FactSet projects that the health-care sector in the S&P 500 will show revenue growth of 7.8% in the second quarter. But even ‘adjusted’ ex-bad-items earnings – a classic in American fiction – is expected to grow by only 2.2% (even as revenues and ‘adjusted’ earnings for the S&P 500 overall are expected to fall once again).
But it’s even worse. As reported under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which all publicly traded companies in the US have to use for their required financial reports, these Q2 earnings in the health-care sector are likely to drop.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ July 16, 2016.

This is by How Much ($$) Big Pharma Misleads Investors

In a scheme we call ‘consensual hallucination.’
Yesterday, we were bashing big pharmaceutical companies for jacking up prices of patent-protected drugs at obscene rates. Those double-digit price increases were largely responsible for the sales increases these companies reported. Drugs have become the largest wholesale category, at $54.3 billion in May, or 12.2% of total wholesales.
This boom is based on price increases at a great cost to US consumers and taxpayers. It’s cannibalizing the rest of the economy. But it’s made possible by the abuse of the patent system, the increasingly monopolistic structures in the industry after a tsunami of mergers funded by cheap credit and a soaring stock market – as planned by the Fed – along with legislators and regulators that have been compromised by the big money and the revolving door [read… This is What’s Cannibalizing the US Economy].

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ July 16, 2016.

Where Are Articles of Impeachment?

Against them all.
Congress.
Obama.
The State Legislatures.
The judges.
All of them.
I have written many times about the revolving door problem in our prisons. There’s a basic principle in our justice system that once you serve your time you’ve paid your debt to society. This is how it should be, and it should apply across the board. Yes, that means that when you get out and probation is done, it’s done.
No more firearms restrictions, no more anything.
Why?
Because it focuses the mind, that’s why. Specifically, it focuses the mind of judges and parole boards on whether or not the person convicted remains a risk to society.
If you can’t keep playing post-hoc games then you must evaluate the risk up front and when you’re wrong it’s blatantly obvious why and who’s to blame. That in turn means that the public and should rise and demand that the person(s) responsible be held accountable — fired without pensions or even prosecuted if a negligence charge can be sustained.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2016-06-13.