Showing posts from August 14, 2015

Released Hillary Clinton Emails Reveal…She Was Reading a Book on How to Delete Emails

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[See also Hillary Clinton turns in ‘blank’ email server to investigators. *RON*]
Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg, 13 August 2015

As I’ve said many times before, the best part about Hillary Clinton running for President, is that she’s so unbelievably corrupt and shady, not a week goes by without a new scandal or embarrassment. It makes the insulting charade of U.S. elections at least somewhat comical.

In the latest gaffe, we learn (through her own emails), that she asked to borrow a book titled, Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better.” Chapter Six of this book is titled, “The Email That Can Land You In Jail,” which includes a section titled: “How to Delete Something So It Stays Deleted.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

SEC Admits It’s Not Monitoring Stock Buybacks to Prevent Market Manipulation

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[CEOs have been using the near free money the government has provided through its interest rate policy - NOT to create jobs or add new equipment or technology - but to buy back company shares. This automatically increases the value per share, which is the basis for determining most CEO's pay. They could sit around playing Pinochle all day and get rich. *RON*]

David Dayen, Intercept, 13 August 2015
The Securities and Exchange Commission has admitted that it has no ability to enforce the main rule intended to prevent market manipulation when companies buy back their own stock, and has no intention to do so.

SEC Chair Mary Jo White made the acknowledgement in a response to Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., who queried the agency about stock buybacks. Baldwin is one of a growing number of politicians — including presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders — who are citing buybacks as an example of deliberate financial engineering that bo…

The Outrageous Ascent of CEO Pay

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[Who needs better dividends, improved equipment, or more jobs? The laws have increasingly been stacked in favour of CEO direct control over boards of directors, so that shareholders have correspondingly smaller say in how their companies are run. *RON*]
by Robert Reich, Moyers & Company, 11 August 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved a rule last week requiring that large publicly held corporations disclose the ratios of the pay of their top CEOs to the pay of their median workers.

About time.

For the last 30 years almost all incentives operating on American corporations have resulted in lower pay for average workers and higher pay for CEOs and other top executives.

Consider that in 1965, CEOs of America’s largest corporations were paid, on average, 20 times the pay of average workers.

Now, the ratio is over 300 to 1.

Not only has CEO pay exploded, so has the pay of top executives just below them.

The share of corporate income devoted…

Spain Hit by Trade Suits, a Bitter Foretaste of TTIP

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[Spain is being hammered with Investor-State Dispute Settlement suits. Few European governments have expressed more fervent support for international trade agreements; they were hoping Spanish companies would win big by suing other countries. "Yet now, in what can only be described as a master class in political hypocrisy, that same government cries foul of a system of international justice that it continues to wholeheartedly support — a system of justice that could soon cost Spanish taxpayers billions of euros in damages." *RON*]

By Don Quijones, Wolf Street. Posted by Yves Smith on Naked Capitalism, 14 August 2015.

US brokerage firm Schwab Holdings and Malta-based OperaFund Eco-Invest Sicav have lodged a new international complaint against the Spanish State over its recent cuts to renewable energy subsidies. The case will be heard in the International Center for Settlement Investment, a Washington DC-based investment arbitration inst…

Americans Have $11.85 Trillion in Household Debt. How Did We Get Here?

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[This is a major economic and social problem. Making nearly free money available to banks and corporations has had the unavoidable side-effect of putting average consumers into historically high levels of personal debt. And there is no way any of us are considered "too big to fail." Instead, the politicians whose policies put us in this position merely cluck their tongues and waggle their fingers at us. *RON*]

By Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn and Heidi Bruce, YES! Magazine, 14 August 2015

"I am always ready to do exactly what is asked..." Senator Stewart Olsen

[This email from the Duffy Senate investigation was included in an August 13th article called 24 Things We Learned From Nigel Wright's Emails In The Mike Duffy Trial. When asked in the recent Canadian Leaders debate whether Senators follow their conscience or vote the Party line on legislation, Harper said "We cannot force them to do anything... but we ask them to support the party's position." Here, Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen lets us know very plainly how things actually work under Stephen Harper. *RON*]

Crude oil is sliding to new lows

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[See also If oil goes to $40 a barrel, something is 'very, very wrong with the world' *RON*]
Akin Oyedele, Business Insider, 13 August 2015

Crude oil just cracked $42 a barrel for the first time in over 6 years.

On Thursday after, West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell nearly 3% to below $42 a barrel in New York.

As prices continue to get hammered on excess supply, the oil market got even more bad news on that front this week.

On Tuesday, the 12-member oil cartel OPEC reported that its output rose to a three-year high in July. Iran was one of the biggest producers, and the country is expected to boost its output for exports when economic sanctions are lifted.

In the US, the latest data from the Energy Information Administration released Wednesday showed that crude inventories fell by 1.68 million barrels last week, a smaller-than-expected decline. Stockpiles remain at the highest levels for this time of year in at least 80 years.

Kinder Morgan stock under siege, pipeline expansion a shaky bet

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[Kinder Morgan is in a parlous financial state. *RON*]

By Robyn Allan, National Observer, 13 August 2015
Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI-NYSE) bills itself as “the largest midstream and third largest energy company (based on enterprise value) in North America.” Enterprise value is a fancy term for the market value of the whole company — it’s an estimate analysts like to use to measure how much a buyer would have to fork over to purchase the entire enterprise. Think of it as equity plus debt minus available cash. Last December, it would have cost $144 billion (US) to buy KMI, now it's 20-per-cent cheaper; KMI’s selling price is $115 billion (US).

KMI is the sole owner of the Trans Mountain pipeline system, the only Alberta heavy oil and petroleum product transportation system with marine access in western Canada. Kinder Morgan has applied to the National Energy Board for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to allow it to expand its operat…