Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Who Runs the Madhouse? (Dogbert Knows) Barclays Collusion Exposed Behind Biggest Banking Collapse in History As Big Picture Dims for Classes Below Top 1%

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Well, it has seemed like a madhouse since the 9/11 events, but it's not always good to find out that your suspicions are justified.

And it's not even April 1.

03 Jul 2012

Source: Dilbert

As most of my readers know, I always enjoy a Reagan apologia. This one from Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is about as good as we'll get after David Stockman's.

And if this is the endgame of those who rule in the West, no wonder the pay was so high. (They are looking, perhaps, to relocate (when found out) on the moon?)

Who Runs the Madhouse?

Dr Paul Craig Roberts

Source:  Can the World Survive Washington’s Hubris?

Who Rules America?

When President Reagan nominated me as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, he told me that we had to restore the US economy, to rescue it from stagflation, in order to bring the full weight of a powerful economy to bear on the Soviet leadership in order to convince them to negotiate the end of the cold war. Reagan said that there was no reason to live any longer under the threat of nuclear war.

The Reagan administration achieved both goals, only to see these accomplishments discarded by successor administrations. It was Reagan’s own vice president and successor, George Herbert Walker Bush, who first violated the Reagan-Gorbachev understandings by incorporating former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire into NATO and taking Western military bases to the Russian frontier.

The process of surrounding Russia with military bases continued unabated through successor US administrations with various “color revolutions” financed by the US National Endowment for Democracy, regarded by many as a front for the CIA. Washington even attempted to install a Washington-controlled government in Ukraine and did succeed in this effort in former Soviet Georgia, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. The President of Georgia, a country located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, is a Washington puppet. Recently, he announced that former Soviet Georgia is on schedule to become a NATO member in 2014.

Those old enough to remember know that NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was an alliance between Western Europe and the US against the threat of the Red Army overrunning Western Europe. The North Atlantic is a long, long ways from the Black and Caspian Seas. What is the purpose of Georgia being a NATO member except to give Washington a military base on the Russian underbelly?

The evidence is simply overwhelming that Washington — both parties — have Russia and China targeted. Whether the purpose is to destroy both countries or merely to render them unable to oppose Washington’s world hegemony is unclear at this time. Regardless of the purpose, nuclear war is the likely outcome.

Armageddon  Approaches . . .

The presstitute American press pretends that an evil Syrian government is murdering innocent citizens who only want democracy and that if the UN won’t intervene militarily, the US must in order to save human rights. Russia and China are vilified by US functionaries for opposing any pretext for a NATO invasion of Syria.

The facts, of course, are different from those presented by the presstitute American media and members of the US government. The Syrian “rebels” are well armed with military weapons. The “rebels” are battling the Syrian army. The rebels massacre civilians and report to their media whores in the West that the deed was done by the Syrian government, and the Western presstitutes spread the propaganda.

Someone is arming the “rebels” as obviously the weapons can’t be purchased in local Syrian markets. Most intelligent people believe the weapons are coming from the US or from US surrogates.


The object is to fragment Syria into petty sectarian statelets forever at each others’ throats. Ideally, this will be accomplished by a war that will do for Syria what has already been done so spectacularly for Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, i.e., destroy their infrastructures and leave them in ruins. When Syria is destroyed and more of its land annexed to Israel, adding to the territory already stolen in the water-rich Golan Heights, the next step will be the fragmentation of Iran and the plunder of its oil and gas resources. Iran is the big one. Syria is the small one on the way to Iran. As the neoconservative chickenhawks in Washington keep saying: “Real men go to Tehran! (LD)(For more on Israel’s role in the Syrian situation, see ‘Israel, Master of Puppets in Syria Unrest.’)

So, Washington has started a civil war in Syria, as it did in Libya, but this time the gullible Russians and Chinese have caught on and have refused to permit a UN resolution like the one the West exploited against Gaddafi.

To get around this roadblock, fish out an ancient Phantom fighter jet from the 1960s Vietnam war era and have Turkey fly it into Syria. The Syrians will shoot it down, and then Turkey can appeal to its NATO allies to come to its aid against Syria. Denied the UN option, Washington can invoke its obligation under the NATO treaty, and go to war in defense of a NATO member against a demonized Syria.

What was that Turkish plane doing sniffing around Syrian airspace? — It was begging to be shot down! So that Turkey could give NATO its casus belli, its pretext for an all-out attack on Syria in violation of international law. The warmongers in Washington have only one way of making a living nowadays — and that is by selling arms to war-torn countries and then systematically looting their resources. (LD)
The neoconservative lie behind Washington’s wars of hegemony is that the US is bringing democracy to the invaded and bombed countries. To paraphrase Mao, “democracy comes out of the barrel of a gun.” However, the Arab Spring has come up short on democracy, as have Iraq and Afghanistan, two countries “liberated” by US democratic invasions.

What the US is bringing is civil wars and the breakup of countries, as President Bill Clinton’s regime achieved in former Yugoslavia. The more countries can be torn into pieces and dissolved into rival factions, the more powerful is Washington.

Russia’s Putin understands that Russia itself is threatened not only by Washington’s funding of the “Russian opposition,” but also by the strife among Muslims unleashed by Washington’s wars against secular Muslim states, such as Iraq and Syria. This discord spreads into Russia itself and presents Russia with problems such as Chechen terrorism.

When a secular state is overthrown, the Islamist factions become free to be at one another’s throats. The internal strife renders the countries impotent. As I wrote previously, the West always prevails in the Middle East because the Islamist factions hate one another more than they hate their Western conquerors. Thus, when Washington destroys secular, non-Islamist governments as in Iraq and now targeted in Syria, the Islamists emerge and battle one another for supremacy. This suits Washington and Israel as these states cease to be coherent opponents.


The Russians are only too aware that the projected wars against Iran and Syria are proxy wars against them. The Chinese know that they, too, are being covertly targeted by these attacks on their Iranian and Syrian allies. Russia and China therefore have a stark choice: either to intervene and stop the planned destruction of Iran and Syria by the US, Israel and their camp followers in NATO and the Muslim world — or else be next on the hit list. (LD)

Russia is vulnerable, because Putin is demonized by Washington and the US media and because Putin’s Russian opposition is financed by Washington and serves US, not Russian, interests. The turmoil that Washington is unleashing in Muslim states leaks back to Russia’s Muslim populations.

It has proved to be more difficult for Washington to interfere in China’s internal affairs, although discord has been sowed in some provinces. Several years from now, the Chinese economy is expected to exceed in size the US economy, with an Asian power displacing a Western one as the world’s most powerful economy.

Washington is deeply disturbed by this prospect. In the thrall and under the control of Wall Street and other special interest business groups, Washington is unable to rescue the US economy from its decline. The short-run gambling profits of Wall Street, the war profits of the military/security complex, and the profits from offshoring the production of goods and services for US markets have far more representation in Washington than the well being of US citizens. As the US economy sinks, the Chinese economy rises.

Washington’s response is to militarize the Pacific. The US Secretary of State has declared the South China Sea to be an area of American national interest. The US is wooing the Philippine government, playing the China threat card, and working on getting the US Navy invited back to its former base at Subic Bay. Recently there were joint US/Philippines military/naval exercises against the “China threat.”

AMERICA believes it has a right to establish bases all over the Pacific Ocean, threatening Chinese interests . . . but would America like it if China established Chinese bases all over the Atlantic Ocean, threatening America? (LD)
The US Navy is reallocating fleets to the Pacific Ocean and constructing a new naval base on a South Korean island. US Marines are now based in Australia and are being reallocated from Japan to other Asian countries. The Chinese are not stupid. They understand that Washington is attempting to corral China.

For a country incapable of occupying Iraq after 8 years and incapable of occupying Afghanistan after 11 years, to simultaneously take on two nuclear powers is an act of insanity. The hubris in Washington, fed daily by the crazed neocons, despite extraordinary failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, has now targeted formidable powers—Russia and China. The world has never in its entire history witnessed such idiocy. The psychopaths, sociopaths, and morons who prevail in Washington are leading the world to destruction.

The criminally insane government in Washington, regardless whether Democrat or Republican, regardless of the outcome of the next election, is the greatest threat to life on earth that has ever existed.

America, You Will Do As I Say!

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the REAL President of America — the man who runs the American Madhouse with the help of AIPAC and America’s Zionist organizations . . .
(Pictures and captions by Lasha Darkmoon)

Turns out that we've "elected" (or allowed to take office illegally) some of the most trivial (but well-trained) people seen in the West in centuries. Considering their policies, not really much of a surprise, is it? Almost makes you distrust higher education (and smooth talkers). Or we could all just proceed down the path strown with easy-money primroses.

The Century Of The Self Part 4: Sipping Wine

Barry Ritholtz - July 3rd, 2012

This episode explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfil the inner desires of the self.

Both New Labour, under Tony Blair, and the Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group, which had been invented by psychoanalysts, in order to regain power. They set out to mould their policies to people’s inner desires and feelings, just as capitalism had learnt to do with products.

Out of this grew a new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism. One of its stars in Britain was Matthew Freud who followed in the footsteps of his relation, Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations in the 1920s.

The politicians believed they were creating a new and better form of democracy, one that truly responded to the inner feelings of individual. But what they didn’t realise was that the aim of those who had originally created these techniques had not been to liberate the people but to develop a new way of controlling them.

Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

Posted: 03 Jul 2012 08:30 AM PDT

Click to enlarge:

Reuters – Analysis: U.S. companies blame Europe for earnings warnings:

As an increasing number of American companies warn their earnings will fall short of expectations, many are pointing the finger at Europe as the culprit.  As the second-quarter corporate results season gets underway in the next few weeks, the euro zone debt crisis, weak European demand, the euro currency’s decline and the impact of it all on the global economic environment, will be front and center. A Thomson Reuters study of 85 Standard & Poor’s 500 companies that have warned investors their earnings would be worse than expected in the quarter shows at least 20 cited Europe specifically, 15 noted currency movements and 12 talked more vaguely about uncertainty due to global economic conditions. Most of the others were not specific or had more unique or isolated problems.

Factset – Earnings Insight, June 29, 2012

Q2 EPS Guidance: More Negative, Fewer Positive than Recent Quarters

With the second quarter ending this week, it marks a good time to analyze guidance data for the second quarter. To date, 102 companies in the S&P 500 have issued quarterly EPS guidance for the second quarter. Of these 102 companies, 74 have issued negative EPS guidance and 28 have issued positive EPS guidance. How do these numbers compare to recent quarters? Are they more negative? Are they more positive? Compared to Q1 2012, these numbers are definitely more negative. For Q1 2012, 111 companies issued EPS guidance. Of these 111 companies, 67 issued negative EPS guidance and 44 issued positive EPS guidance. The Consumer Discretionary sector has witnessed the largest increase (+7) in the number of companies issuing negative EPS guidance and the largest decrease (-9) in the number of companies issuing positive EPs guidance in Q2 2012 relative to Q1 2012.


Reports of Q2 earnings season starts next week.  As the chart and story above show, it is not going to be good.  Growth is now expected to be negative. 

Source: Bianco Research

The Biggest Banking Scandal Ever

July 2, 2012

Nathaniel Downes

The large UK bank Barclays is not a household name here in the United States,but its actions reverberate throughout the global banking community. It only recently was found guilty of colluding with traders at other banks to fix the interest rates over the Libor, the London Interbank Offered Rate, and the Euribor, the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, over a period of 5 years, which coincided with the largest banking collapse in world history. This interest rate fixing is believed to have been the root cause of the lending freeze which caused the Adjustable Rate Mortgage reset. As ARM’s issued by such giants as Washington Mutual, Countrywide and Wachovia were derived in part on these two exchanges, this caused a record number of defaults as interest rates climbed faster than anyone had predicted.

Already the repercussions are reverberating throughout the system. A total of 18 Banks such as Citigroup Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, UBS AG, ICAP Plc, Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Deutsche Bank AG are under investigation for colluding in the interest rate fixing scandal so far.

Barclays already has had several lawsuits filed against it after these revelations came to light. Even with the resignation of the company chairman and the nearly half-billion dollar fine, things are looking bleak for these conspirators as calls are coming in rapidly for criminal proceedings against the executives of these banks.

When Barclays was originally fined on June 27th, few realized how deep down the problems were. With banking institutions from around the world now discovered to be involved with the scandal, stock prices are beginning to fall, and heads are rolling. The investigation revealed that the relaxing of banking regulations in both the US and UK, under the argument that the banks would regulate themselves far more efficiently than the governments would, is what enabled these banking giants to manipulate the system.

Free of the concerns that regulators would be able to address the problems, they modified their method of operation to allow the control of the market to their benefit. The trillions of dollars which were manipulated in this manner were funneled to a select few, away from the people who had earned it. A gigantic scam, and they felt themselves untouchable. If millions of people lost their jobs or homes, too bad for them. They got theirs, forget the rest of us.

Will this lead to arrest and jail time for these bankers who toppled the world economy, as Iceland has done? Only time will tell.

Happy July 4!

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