Venezuela Arrests Former Oil Minister And Ex-Head Of PDVSA

Hoy la Clase soberana Petrolera recibe al compaero @MQuevedoF quin asume el @MinPetroleoVE y @PDVSA para continuar el legado de nuestro Comandante Chvez pic.twitter.com/6BH7IsgehW
— Eulogio Del Pino (@delpinoeulogio) November 27, 2017

As OPEC is set to celebrate the extension of the cartel’s oil production cut for another year in Vienna, Venezuela former-oil minister and the former head of the now defaulted state energy company PDVSA have no reasons to celebrate following their overnight arrests in Venezuela.
Taking a page out of the Saudi “anti-corruption” playbook, Reuters reports citing two sources that Venezuelan authorities detained former Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino and former state oil company PDVSA president Nelson Martinez overnight as a part of a broad anti-corruption probe.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 30, 2017.

The America I Woke Up to This Morning

I read online today a nameless Congressman has penned a book, Confessions of Congressman X (unrated at Amazon.com), that claims his main job is to get re-elected, voters are ignorant (what’s new?), it’s easy to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification, that he seldom reads bills up for vote and the country spends money it doesn’t have to mortgage its future.
But can Americans do anything about this? It just adds to the pent up frustration. The book pretends to reveal all but it’s much worse than just government graft and corruption, it is murder in broad daylight conducted by the state simply overlooked. If you think the US Constitution protects your life and liberty and that only corrupt fascist governments overseas rub out their domestic enemies, consider the long list of suspicious deaths following the JFK assassination.
I want to know who is pushing the transgender agenda in America? The news media was re-introducing Bruce Jenner to America months before he announced he would undergo a sex-change. Now our King (aka elected President) issues a royal command that US schools must permit transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on May 14, 2016.

Ultimate Weapon in Existential Struggle: Using the TPP for Hostile Takeover of Mexican Agriculture

Monsanto & Friends are already rejoicing.
By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.
Resisting Monsanto, the world’s largest, most influential GMO giant, is an almost impossible task. The corporation boasts more back channels and revolving doors with national governments and regulators than just about any other company on the planet, not to mention a fearsome army of corporate lawyers and lobbyists.
Few countries are more aware of this fact than Mexico, where a small collective of activist groups, scientists, artists and gourmet chefs have been engaged in a titanic legal struggle with Monsanto. Although they keep winning crucial battles, the war is still likely to be won by Monsanto, thanks to one key weapon in its arsenal: the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
An Existential Struggle
For Mexican smallholders and consumers, the struggle with Monsanto & Friends is an existential one. In a 2013 ruling banning the cultivation of GMOs in Mexico, Judge Manuel Zaleta cited the potential risks to the environment posed by GMO corn. If the biotech industry got its way, he argued, more than 7000 years of indigenous maize cultivation in Mexico would be endangered, with the country’s 60 varieties of corn directly threatened by cross-pollination from transgenic strands.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ November 22, 2015.

Will Monsanto & Friends Use TPP to Launch a Hostile Takeover of Mexican Agriculture?

Ultimate Weapon in an Existential Struggle. By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. Resisting Monsanto, the world’s largest, most influential GMO giant, is an almost impossible task. The corporation boasts more back channels and revolving doors with national governments and regulators than just about any other company on the planet, not to mention a fearsome army of corporate lawyers and lobbyists.
Few countries are more aware of this fact than Mexico, where a small collective of activist groups, scientists, artists and gourmet chefs have been engaged in a titanic legal struggle with Monsanto. Although they keep winning crucial battles, the war is still likely to be won by Monsanto, thanks to one key weapon in its arsenal: the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
An Existential Struggle For Mexican smallholders and consumers, the struggle with Monsanto & Friends is an existential one. In a 2013 ruling banning the cultivation of GMOs in Mexico, Judge Manuel Zaleta cited the potential risks to the environment posed by GMO corn. If the biotech industry got its way, he argued, more than 7000 years of indigenous maize cultivation in Mexico would be endangered, with the country’s 60 varieties of corn directly threatened by cross-pollination from transgenic strands.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ November 22, 2015.

The 2% Inflation Hoax – – Central Bankers Are Clueless Everywhere

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared last week that Japan is no longer suffering from deflation the day after his own government statistics showed that Japanese prices declined for the first time since QQE began. That is actually great news for the Japanese people, though Abe and Kuroda at the Bank of Japan continually pledge to end the relief. Abe’s direct synthesis, however, is jarring in that it is exposing the internal framework of global monetarism. Rational expectations itself may have once been nothing more than a forced equality in order to gain the ‘E’ in DSGE statistics, but in 2015 it is showing its true, modern manifestation of being ‘all talk.’
Central banks, for all the posturing, don’t actually do all that much aside from heap generous transaction premiums upon the broker class. In economic reality, bank reserves are divorced from function leaving room only for those who wish to believe in the magic. That is what all the fuss is about inflation expectations, since most people don’t care enough to figure out what a central bank actually does (this is especially true of economists). They are supposed to be taken at the word, which is fine when those words at least vaguely resemble what is transpiring or what has transpired.
Instead:
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s updated plan for reviving Japan’s economy and achieving a GDP target of 600 trillion yen ($5 trillion) suggests a recognition that earlier policies are not doing the trick…
Japan’s inflation rate remained flat at 0.2 percent in August, according to data reported Friday, with core inflation excluding volatile food prices slipping 0.1 percent. A preliminary survey of manufacturers released Thursday showed a sharp drop in export orders. Recent corporate investment figures were likewise worse than expected.
To which Abe replied:

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Jeffrey P. Snider – September 28, 2015.

The Keynesian PhD Brigade Strikes Again: Sweden’s Riksbank Joins The ZIRP Mania

Folks, it’s a tyranny of the PhDs. Recently, the central bank of Sweden was subject to a withering tirade by that oracle of Keynesian rubbish, professor Paul Krugman, who accused it of ‘sado-monetarism’ for leaving the Swedish economy exposed to the mythical economic disease of ‘deflation’.
So the Riksbank threw caution to the wind, and a few months ago joined the global central bank plunge into ZIRP and promised to ladle out free money until at least 2016. To leave no doubt, it is currently cranking up for direct lending, ‘asset purchases’, negative interest rates (N-ZIRP) and the rest of the recently invented central bankers voodoo kit. Anything to achieve its sacred 2% inflation target!
So still another central bank has been infected by the 2% inflation shibboleth – -a folly the greatest central banker of our era dispatched recently with a single sentence:
Mr. Volcker, who believes the Fed’s main goal is to defend the dollar’s stability, said he doesn’t even understand why the Fed adopted a 2% target for inflation. He asked, ‘Do we want prices to double every generation?’
Yes, today’s Keynesian central bankers don’t particularly care what happens in the next 30 years or even 30 months. It’s all about the noise-ridden ‘in-coming’ data and whether the gap between actual production and employment, one the one hand, and a theoretical figment called full employment or ‘potential’ GDP, on the other, has been closed.
It is downright amazing that the $75 trillion global economy is in thrall to the stupid math models of a couple of hundred PhDs. And these so-called DSGE models (dynamic stochastic general equilibrium) are, indeed, just plain stupid.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on December 19, 2014.