Showing posts from August 13, 2016

Big Wall Street Firms Make Lame Excuse for Volcker Rule Non-Compliance, Ask for Additional Five Year Extension

Click here to view the original article.
[The banksters will simply keep doing this until hell freezes over if the Fed allows them to. *RON*]
By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, 12 August 2016

Because it’s become so routine, it’s hard to get outraged about brazen behavior by the Wall Street heavyweights, but this incident is a noteworthy exception. Major Wall Street firms are asking a clearly-in-the-tank-for-them Fed to delay Volcker Rule implementation an astonishing additional five years. And what’s the excuse? That they have some “illiquid” positions that they need more time to sell. This is after implementation of the Volcker Rule having first been pushed back by four years and the banks having obtained an additional three years of extensions.

Anyone who knows bupkis about finance knows if you can’t sell a financial asset in three years (or more accurately, seven), particularly with public and private market valuations at record levels, the problem is not liquidity. It’s valuation. These…

Stark New Evidence on How Money Shapes America’s Elections

Click here to view the original article.
[Democracy or plutocracy? For that matter, see also Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America by John Nichols and Robert W McChesney. *RON*]

By Lynn Parramore, Institute for New Economic Thinking, posted on Naked Capitalism by Yves Smith, 9 August 2016

Outrage over how big money influences American politics has been boiling over this political season, energizing the campaigns of GOP nominee Donald Trump and former Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders alike. Citizens have long suspected that “We the People” increasingly means “We the Rich” at election time.

Yet surprisingly, two generations of social scientists have insisted that wallets don’t matter that much in American politics. Elections are really about giving the people what they want. Money, they claim, has negligible impact on elections.

That was a good line for Cold War propaganda, and good for tenure, too. Corporate titans seized upon it to argue that …

A Surreal Life on the Precipice in Puerto Rico

Click here to view the original article.

[A failed state within the US. Very bizarre. Swimming pools pop up in slums, horses graze in schoolhouses, and public housing tenants pay negative rent on an island whose government has effectively gone broke. *RON*]

By Mary Williams Walsh, New York Times, 6 August 2016
It’s official: America now has a failed state within its borders, just the way Europe has Greece.

America’s biggest unincorporated territory, Puerto Rico, effectively ran out of cash this summer and has stopped paying its debts. Now, Congress is putting together an oversight board to call the shots until the island gets back on its feet.

The similarities with Greece are uncanny: a sunny vacation paradise that suddenly goes bust, a huge debt taken out in a currency — the euro, the dollar — that’s too strong for the local economy. Both crises have elicited long debates about what went wrong, whose fault it was and how to respond. Austerity? A bailout? Something else?

While the debates …

Syria’s Chemical Weapons Have Been Destroyed. So, Why Do Chlorine Gas Attacks Persist?

Click here to view the original article.

["In some recent attacks, including one on Aug. 2, in Saraqeb in Idlib Province, witnesses reported seeing barrel bombs being thrown from helicopters. In that attack, in which 30 people were sickened, according to the BBC, it was unclear who was responsible, but the rebels and the Islamic State do not have helicopters." (emphasis added) *RON*]

By Russell Goldman, New York Times, 11 August 2016

The use of chlorine gas against civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo should be investigated as a “war crime,” a top United Nations diplomat said Thursday. It was a deadly reminder of the persistence of makeshift chemical weapons in Syria despite an international effort to destroy the country’s chemical weapons caches.

Four people were killed when at least four barrels containing the gas were dropped Wednesday over Zubdiya, a rebel-held neighborhood in eastern Aleppo, witnesses said. The bombing was the latest in a series of chlorine gas attacks…

F-35 Jets Make Canadian Debut Amid Ongoing Political Headache

Click here to view the original article.
[Outright lies about its capabilities. Crapification and the military-industrial complex. From the story F-35 Jets Ready For Combat, U.S. Air Force Says: the Air Force "...admitted there are things the F-35A still can't do... which will be addressed in the coming months and years... There are also some technical fixes that need to be made... We are not to full operational capacity... We will evolve and continue to improve it..." And from Leaked dogfight test reveals that F-35 jet is in 'very big trouble': "Against a determined foe, the F-35 is in very big trouble... If you need your airplane to fight air-to-air, you cannot buy this airplane." See also: Pentagon say reason most expensive fighter jet ever the F35 lost a dogfight with an F16 from 40 years ago was because it did not have a special coat of stealth paint. *RON*]
By Geordon Omand, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 12 August 2016

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The new…

Elizabeth May Could Quit As Green Party Leader This Month

Click here to view the original article.
[She is far and away one of the most respected politicians in Canada; I hope she does not step down. *RON*]
By David Cochrane, CBC News, 12 August 2016

Elizabeth May says she could step down as Green Party leader later this month if her party doesn't reconsider its decision to endorse a movement that calls for the boycott of Israel.

At its policy convention last weekend, Green Party members voted in favour of a resolution which, in part, said the party "supports the use of divestment, boycott and sanctions (BDS) that are targeted to those sectors of Israel's economy and society which profit from the ongoing occupation of the OPT [occupied Palestinian Territories.]"
"I would say as of this minute I think I'd have real difficulties going not just to an election but through the next month," May said in an interview with CBC Radio's The House, set to air this Saturday morning on CBC Radio One.

"There are a lot of…