It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Big Lie - The Daily Beast

The Big Lie - The Daily Beast
Michael Thomas writes beautiful prose. His description of the violence that will follow the soon-to-be uprising will be a spendid rebuttal to more than 30 years of greed and graft. Recently, I watched a wonderful BBC series about the great writers of the Romantic period. William Wordsworth went to Paris to witness the French Revolution first-hand. The relentless bloodletting got to him and he fled back to England. When I peel back the layers of bankers, lobbyists, politicians, and media who participated in the raping of the world, I can understand the need for the wet work. I expect when the killing starts it will be very bad indeed, only stopping after tellers and security guards litter the tops of the piles.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Are we fuggin' stupid?

Max Keiser asks the question.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Currency Wars

Author Jim Rickards discusses the opening salvos of what he says is a global currency war. The Federal Reserve has extended currency swaps to the EU. The ECB cannot devalue the Euro without constitutional change in each of the 23 countries to allow it. In the meantime, Bernanke continues to print -- to provide the IMF with US$ in return for SDR's -- that in effect, the Federal Reserve is 'shorting' the US dollar.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

London vs. the Eurozone - Howard Davies - Project Syndicate

London vs. the Eurozone - Howard Davies - Project Syndicate

Bass Season

Kyle Bass manages the investment fund for the University of Texas. Larry Summers, often called, "The Smartest Guy in the Room", and one of the architects of the current global crisis, managed the investments for Harvard. Bass doubled the Texas pot, while Summers lost more than half Harvard's legacy investments. That's why Summers will always look around the room to see if people like Bass are there, before getting a cocktail. Pay attention to what he is saying in this CNBS, I mean CNBC video.

Friday, December 09, 2011


This story of pure greed and arrogance sits at the forefront of disbelief. When the list is made up these guys need to be at the front of the lineup.

Financial Armageddon: I Smell a U.S. Bestseller-in-the-Making...

Financial Armageddon: I Smell a U.S. Bestseller-in-the-Making...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

AC2011 Session 1.2 Come Undone: Kyle Bass redux - YouTube

Watch this and you will think twice before believing anything you ever, read about, see, or hear from MSM.

AC2011 Session 1.2 Come Undone: Kyle Bass redux - YouTube

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

European Rescue Package

The Europeans have developed what they believe is a rescue package- some claim as much as 2 Trillion Euros - to ring fence the corrupted banks and countries in the EU. The truth is that Credit Default Swaps on the banks, and on the sovereigns, multiplies the losses at many, many, more trillions; more than could possibly be printed. Brooksley Born was right. Love him for his honesty, or hate him, Alessio Rastani is telling it as he sees it and how he hopes things turn out. The big winner, when Europe collapses, may be the US as money floods into US Treasuries. But by the time the derivatives contracts begin to hit the court system, those gains will be short lived. Replay this BBC clip. Buy gold and silver and bury it, deeply.
According to a new study at the University of St. Gallen seen by SPIEGEL, one contributing factor may be that stockbrokers' behavior is more reckless and manipulative than that of psychopaths. Researchers at the Swiss research university measured the readiness to cooperate and the egotism of 28 professional traders who took part in computer simulations and intelligence tests. The results, compared with the behavior of psychopaths, exceeded the expectations of the study's co-authors, forensic expert Pascal Scherrer, and Thomas Noll, a lead administrator at the Pöschwies prison north of Zürich.,1518,788462,00.html

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Prophetic Warnings

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has always been blessed with leaders who see the world as it is; who caution against a reliance on governments and the machinations of men.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Amy Winehouse RIP

What a talent.  What a waste.  Let's hope God receives her with open arms.

Back from Black - The Amy Winehouse Show tribute - You Know I'm No Good from Mike Walker on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bye bye Miss American Pie

Financial Armageddon posted this graphic from Billshrink that illustrates the ending of the American Dream. The Beaver got killed in Vietnam. Wally is a 10 term Congressman and Eddie is the president of a Wall Street Bank. Listen to the song while you study and ponder this graph.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Truth vs. Public Perception

Michael Steinhardt, one of the most successful hedge fund traders ever, and with a longevity that spanned 50 years, now spends his time smelling the roses. He took time out from his retirement to speak frankly about the economy, the end of America's business culture, and what he called the 'Greatest PR Con Job Ever' when he spoke about Warren Buffett.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Truth vs. Manufactured Consent

Yesterday I suggested folks take a look at some videos. I pointed you towards Manufacturing Consent. Speaking about the subject matter of his book, 'Manufacturing Consent', Noam Chomsky talks about the role the media plays in shaping political opinion. Here then, find out what he has to say about main stream media:

And then take a gander at this recent CNN interview of a former CIA analyst talking about America's intervention in Libya:

At the same time Libya is undergoing what is being called "Kinetic Military Action", hardly a peep is heard from Bahrain where 25 or more people have been killed, another 1,000 have been injured and wounded, and 400 people languish in jail for speaking out. The President of Bahrain's Human Rights Centre, Rajeel Rajabsays Western mainstream media are being asked not to report on Saudi and UAE troops gunning down protesters in Bahrain.
Where does the truth lay? Where is John Galt?

Monday, April 04, 2011

Two Rainy Day Films

As an agregator site, I pull together items I find interesting to share with my friends. Very little of what I write these days finds its way onto posts. For the most part, any analysis I can offer is less than that provided somewhere else.

Two documentaries have made an impact on me recently. The first is "The Century of Self." This series, produced by the BBC, traces how industry and government use psychology to shape our purchase and voting habits. Eddie Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freude, began by working for the tobacco industry. He proved to Madison Avenue that psychology could overcome societal barriers in doubling the number of smokers in America by inducing women to take up the habit. A facinating application of the same techniques were adopted by political parties to get their leaders elected. YouTube also has a series of videos based on Noam Chomsky's great work; "Manufacturing Consent."

And when you are finished watching those and have had a good vomit, I suggest you continue the filmfest and watch the best documentary made about the financial crisis; "Inside Job", produced by Charles Ferguson. He won an Academy Award for it. It is an outstanding piece of film that traces the steps to the collapse from Reagan to Obama. Posted on the site Zero HedgeThis is the first time I have found it on-line for free.

Watch these films and perhaps show them to your friends and family. With an election coming up next year, ask yourself if you can believe anything you hear coming out of the mouths of politicians and the media. Think about the billions flowing from Wall Street to the campaign coffers of both Republicans and Democrats.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Revelations 6:12

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

Perigee Moon (201103190001HQ)

The full moon is seen as it rises near the Lincoln Memorial, Saturday, March 19, 2011, in Washington. The full moon tonight is called a "Super Moon" since it is at its closest to Earth. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Are these the end days?

Here in New Zealand the world seems to be a little smaller - our tiny nation more isolated. Images from Japan showing the slow creep of that massive wall of black water, consuming whole towns, technology and science spinning in its wake. One is reminded about the powerlessness of the individual. Our largest city - Auckland, was established in and around a cluster of 26 volcanos. Our capital - Wellington, constructed on a major fault line. One has to wonder who will come to the rescue if either of these becomes active? The unfolding muclear disaster in Fukushima
seems a metaphor for mankind's struggle to suborn the engine of it's own creation. The futility of trying to contain fuel rods that have been set free from their containment seems pointless in the face of reality. But, given the choice of wading through toxic slush that jiggles and muffles the tremors beneath your feet, or hanging on to the end of a hose in Fukushima, I suppose it would be better to be doing something, even if it is a losing fight.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Jailed Bankers? Not Likely.

Rolling Stone's Matt Taiibi asks the question, "Why isn't Wall Street in Jail?"
As time passes and the five-year statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions draws near, it's clear not one banker will be put behind bars. It was not so clear when Lehman Brothers fell. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson felt the need to insert this clause into the TARP Bill:
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
Many felt Paulson should have been indicted for watching the crisis unfold.
In much the same way that a "Peace Corps" entry on your resume often proved key to getting the job back in the 60's, investigators working for the SEC, CFTC, and Justice, are guaranteed top dollar working for the banks they had been investigating.
Taiibi writes about an event that took place late last year:
Gary Aguirre, the SEC investigator who lost his job when he drew the ire of Morgan Stanley, thinks he knows the answer.

Last year, Aguirre noticed that a conference on financial law enforcement was scheduled to be held at the Hilton in New York on November 12th. The list of attendees included 1,500 or so of the country's leading lawyers who represent Wall Street, as well as some of the government's top cops from both the SEC and the Justice Department.

Criminal justice, as it pertains to the Goldmans and Morgan Stanleys of the world, is not adversarial combat, with cops and crooks duking it out in interrogation rooms and courthouses. Instead, it's a cocktail party between friends and colleagues who from month to month and year to year are constantly switching sides and trading hats. At the Hilton conference, regulators and banker-lawyers rubbed elbows during a series of speeches and panel discussions, away from the rabble. "They were chummier in that environment," says Aguirre, who plunked down $2,200 to attend the conference.

Aguirre saw a lot of familiar faces at the conference, for a simple reason: Many of the SEC regulators he had worked with during his failed attempt to investigate John Mack had made a million-dollar pass through the Revolving Door, going to work for the very same firms they used to police. Aguirre didn't see Paul Berger, an associate director of enforcement who had rebuffed his attempts to interview Mack — maybe because Berger was tied up at his lucrative new job at Debevoise & Plimpton, the same law firm that Morgan Stanley employed to intervene in the Mack case. But he did see Mary Jo White, the former U.S. attorney, who was still at Debevoise & Plimpton. He also saw Linda Thomsen, the former SEC director of enforcement who had been so helpful to White. Thomsen had gone on to represent Wall Street as a partner at the prestigious firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Two of the government's top cops were there as well: Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Robert Khuzami, the SEC's current director of enforcement. Bharara had been recommended for his post by Chuck Schumer, Wall Street's favorite senator. And both he and Khuzami had served with Mary Jo White at the U.S. attorney's office, before Mary Jo went on to become a partner at Debevoise. What's more, when Khuzami had served as general counsel for Deutsche Bank, he had been hired by none other than Dick Walker, who had been enforcement director at the SEC when it slow-rolled the pivotal fraud case against Rite Aid.

"It wasn't just one rotation of the revolving door," says Aguirre. "It just kept spinning. Every single person had rotated in and out of government and private service."

The Revolving Door isn't just a footnote in financial law enforcement; over the past decade, more than a dozen high-ranking SEC officials have gone on to lucrative jobs at Wall Street banks or white-shoe law firms, where partnerships are worth millions. That makes SEC officials like Paul Berger and Linda Thomsen the equivalent of college basketball stars waiting for their first NBA contract. Are you really going to give up a shot at the Knicks or the Lakers just to find out whether a Wall Street big shot like John Mack was guilty of insider trading? "You take one of these jobs," says Turner, the former chief accountant for the SEC, "and you're fit for life."

Enough time has passed for bankers, civil servants, and regulators to breath a sigh of relief and go back to the buffet for a second helping.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Ascendancy of Asia

As Obama waves goodbye to Chinese President Hu Jintao, Americans can take pride in their President standing tall in the saddle to remind his counterpart of the need for human rights for the Chinese people.