The Hidden-in-Plain-Sight Mechanism of the Super-Wealthy: Money-Laundering 2.0

Financial and political power are two sides of one coin.
We all know the rich are getting richer, and the super-rich are getting super-richer. This reality is illustrated in the chart of income gains, the vast majority of which have flowed to the top .01%–not the top 1%, or the top .1% — to the very tippy top of the wealth-power pyramid:
Though all sorts of reasons have been offered to explain this trend–I’ve described the mechanisms of financialization here for years–two that don’t attract much mainstream media attention are money laundering and control fraud, i.e. changing the rules of what’s legal so what was illegal yesterday is legal today–presto-magico, illegally skimmed wealth is now “legal.”
Correspondent JD recently submitted an excellent summary of the progression from Money Laundering 1.0 to Money Laundering 2.0:
Money laundering 1.0 is making dirty money legal, control fraud is manipulating the ‘legal’ options, and money laundering 2.0 is making sure that ‘legal’ fortunes are not taxed and cannot be clawed back.”
Conventional money laundering works by shifting ill-gotten gains into legitimate banks and/or assets. Ill-gotten gains can be laundered quite easily by buying homes or businesses (in the U. S., Europe, etc.) with cash. The home or enterprises can then be sold and the net is now legit.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on DECEMBER 29, 2017.

What Happens When A Russiagate Skeptic Debates A Professional Russiagater

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,
Have you ever wondered why mainstream media outlets, despite being so fond of dramatic panel debates on other hot-button issues, never have critics of the Russiagate narrative on to debate those who advance it? Well, in a recent Real News interview we received an extremely clear answer to that question, and it was so epic it deserves its own article.
Real News host and producer Aaron Mat has recently emerged as one of the most articulate critics of the establishment Russia narrative and the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory, and has published in The Nation some of the clearest arguments against both that I’ve yet seen. Luke Harding is a journalist for The Guardian where he has been writing prolifically in promotion of the Russiagate narrative, and is the author of New York Times bestseller Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win.
In theory, it would be hard to find two journalists more qualified to debate each side of this important issue. In practice, it was a one-sided thrashing that The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill accurately described as ‘brutal’.
The term Gish gallop, named after a Young Earth creationist who was notoriously fond of employing it, refers to a fallacious debate tactic in which a bunch of individually weak arguments are strung together in rapid-fire succession in order to create the illusion of a solid argument and overwhelm the opposition’s ability to refute them all in the time allotted. Throughout the discussion the Gish gallop appeared to be the only tool that Luke Harding brought to the table, firing out a deluge of feeble and unsubstantiated arguments only to be stopped over and over again by Mat who kept pointing out when Harding was making a false or fallacious claim.


This post was published at Zero Hedge on Thu, 12/28/2017 –.

The Dark Side of AI – Deception and Propaganda

In 1896, cinema pioneers Auguste and Louis Lumiere debuted a short film showing a train pulling into a station. Audience members reportedly fled the Paris theater in terror, afraid they would be run down. Though the train on screen could do them no harm, of course, the experience, and the danger, nevertheless felt real. Today, filmgoers are a savvier lot, well-versed in the many feats that camera tricks and postproduction can accomplish. But a certain threat still lurks in the deceptions of the cinema – only now the dangers are often more real than the objects and actors depicted on screen.
On Dec. 11, Vice’s Motherboard ran a story discussing how advances in artificial intelligence have made it possible to digitally superimpose celebrities’ faces onto other actors’ bodies with an algorithm. The article focused on the technology’s use for making fake celebrity porn videos, but the trick has come in handy for mainstream movies as well: Think Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing in a recent “Star Wars” installment. The possibilities in the mainstream and adult film industries are practically endless with this innovation, especially combined with programs such as Adobe Voco or Lyrebird, which can create a vocal library from a recorded sample of someone’s voice. Using these tools in tandem, filmmakers of all kinds can make any person, or at least a convincing digital replica, say and do whatever they want for whatever end – be it entertainment or something more insidious.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 12/21/2017.

The Year Of The Headless Liberal Chicken

Authored by CJ Hopkins via Counterpunch.org,
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 has been the Year of the Rooster. Myself, I’ve decided to designate it the Year of the Headless Liberal Chicken.
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I don’t mean that to be insulting … or, all right, I guess I do, a little. But my heart goes out to liberals, seriously. At this point, the amount of utterly baseless, contradictory propaganda, mass hysteria, and just flat out insanity the ruling classes have demanded they swallow is more than any human mind, no matter how medicated, could possibly handle. Is it any wonder so many of them of lost it and started seeing Nazis and Russians coming out of the woodwork?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 17, 2017.

Goodbye, Net Neutrality. Hello, Liberty.

The New York Times has published a screed with this title: The Internet Is Dying. Repealing Net Neutrality Hastens That Death.
Let me remind you of the basic rule of titling breathless articles: begin with the phrase “the death of” or “the end of.” When you read such a phrase, you can be sure that whatever it is, it is not dying. Whatever it has been in the past, it is likely to be in the future. It is not facing the end.
Here is the logic of the screed.
The internet is dying. Sure, technically, the internet still works. Pull up Facebook on your phone and you will still see your second cousin’s baby pictures. But that isn’t really the internet. It’s not the open, anyone-can-build-it network of the 1990s and early 2000s, the product of technologies created over decades through government funding and academic research, the network that helped undo Microsoft’s stranglehold on the tech business and gave us upstarts like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Netflix.
Nope, that freewheeling internet has been dying a slow death – and a vote next month by the Federal Communications Commission to undo net neutrality would be the final pillow in its face.
Net neutrality is intended to prevent companies that provide internet service from offering preferential treatment to certain content over their lines. The rules prevent, for instance, AT&T from charging a fee to companies that want to stream high-definition videos to people.
The phrase “preferential treatment” is easy to define: high bid wins. It is the organizational principle of the auction.
The mainstream media are Keynesian to the core. The fundamental principle of the free market is this: high monetary bid wins. It is the principle of the auction. Liberals hate most auctions. Yes, they like auctions of incredibly overpriced and incomparably ugly art. They don’t get upset when somebody pays $150 million to buy a piece of tripe painted by Picasso. That’s their kind of stupidity. They like it. But they don’t want the common people to have access to open markets. Open markets are only for the elite, in the view of America’s Left.

This post was published at Gary North on November 30, 2017.

ABC NEWS SUSPENDS BRIAN ROSS AFTER ON-AIR FAKE NEWS REPORT ABOUT MICHAEL FLYNN THAT CAUSED STOCK MARKET PANIC

In a stunning admission of guilt, ABC news announced Saturday that it was suspending investigative reporter Brian Ross for four weeks after he aired a fake news report about embattled former national security adviser Michael Flynn that caused a sharp sell-off in the stock market and was spread like wildfire by liberal journalists throughout the media who were desperate to believe the disinformation.
‘We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday. The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process,’ ABC claimed in a statement released to the media.
‘As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 2, 2017.

Here’s The Chart That Everyone Is Talking About (And Hoping Is Not ‘Real’)

While mainstream media eyes have been focused on wrecked tech stocks and towering trannies, professionals in the world’s largest liquidity markets have been shocked at the sudden explosion in one chart… that most everyone is hoping is not ‘real’.
With central banks puking money at low or negative rates to anyone who can fog a mirror, the sudden spike in EONIA, or overnight money rates in Europe, which we first highlighted yesterday, is quite a shock in a normally stable market.
EONIA has spiked from -36bps to -24bps in the last 2 days and the authority that ‘manages’ this index has verified this is not a ‘fat finger’.
Traders everywhere are scratching their heads – here’s why:
Bloomberg explains that EONIA is not a posted rate where banks would like to do business, such as Libor, but a weighted average index of actual trading in unsecured overnight money.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.

Is The Left Self-Destructing, Or Is Something Else Going On?

The temptation to revel in the implosion of the extreme political Left is high, and it’s understandable. I could go through a long list of insane offenses by the cultural Marxist cult of the church of “social justice,” but I think this latest example summarizes the problem nicely. In this video, teaching assistant Lindsay Shepard at Wilfred Laurier University in Canada is reprimanded and brow beaten by two professors for daring to commit the heresy of showing her students BOTH sides of the debate over transgenderism and pronoun politics.
The zealotry on display here by these professors is indicative of a deep-rooted cancer within the Left. Shepard was not attempting to troll her class with misinformation or subtly manipulate them with propaganda, in fact she wasn’t seeking to pressure them to support either viewpoint. She was not violating anyone’s private property rights to assail them with her arguments, either. Her only goal was to show people in a public space that there are in fact at least two opposing viewpoints on the issue in question. But in a cult it is unacceptable to acknowledge that there are different ways of thinking from the prevailing doctrine. Other beliefs and evidence must be filtered out completely, otherwise, the devout members of the cult might be faced with uncertainty.
If an ideological system is so fragile that it cannot tolerate the slightest hint of legitimate counter-evidence, then something is very wrong with that system. If that system is incapable of arguing its merits using facts and instead relies on the argument of “How dare you!,” the only things that could possibly keep it alive are threats of force and terror.

This post was published at Alt-Market on Thursday, 30 November 2017.

What Makes Google’s Eric Schmidt So Afraid? (And What Should He Be Afraid of?)

OK, it’s from Russia Today so you should of course not trust it but somehow this video and text and the man in it seems quite factual, not fake and obviously not omitted.
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It documents that Eric Emerson Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Alphabet – an American multinational conglomerate that owns a lot and among them Google – is working on ‘de-ranking’ alleged propaganda outlets such as Russia Today, RT – the world’s third largest television network – and Sputnik.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 24, 2017.

The Daily Hell of Life in the Soviet Bloc

This month is the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party’s seizure of power in Petrograd, Russia. British Guardian columnist Paul Mason recent declared that the Soviet revolution provided ‘a beacon to the rest of humanity, no matter how short lived.’ The New York Times has exalted the Soviet takeover in a series of articles on the ‘Red Century’ – even asserting that ‘women had better sex under communism’ (based largely on a single dubious orgasm count comparison of East and West German women.)
Professor Hunt Tooley’s November 1 Mises article on ‘The Bolshevik Great Experiment: 100 Years Later’ vividly captured the stunning death tolls communism produced in Russia and elsewhere. Stalin reputedly said that one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
Communism’s mortality toll does not capture its full horror – the daily degradation that its victims suffered. In the mid-1980s, there were plenty of Soviet apologists writing in the western media. Practically any Soviet Bloc reform was touted as the turning of the corner to sustained economic progress. I was mystified why people living in freedom would idealize a system of state slavery.
In 1986 and 1987, I slipped behind the Iron Curtain a half dozen times to study economic perversity and political slavery, writing articles for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal Europe, Freeman, Journal of Economic Growth, and other publications. My final trip – in November 1987 – began in Budapest, Hungary, before heading on to the most repressive regime in Europe.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on 20 Nov 2017.

Victoria’s Secret Staff Think The Chinese Are Spying On Them

Stories about the shambolic Victoria’s Secret fashion show – which is slated to take place Tuesday Nov. 28 in Shanghai – just keep getting weirder.
Chinese bureaucrats have so far refused to cooperate with the show’s producers and planners, denying visas to Gigi Hadid, one of the show’s highest-profile models, and Katy Perry, the US pop superstar who was slated to be the musical guest.
The Communist Party has also inexplicably refused to issue press passes and visas to members of the western media who were supposed to travel to China to cover the event.
Already, we imagine the marketing brass at L Brands have learned their lesson, and that this will be both the first, and the last, VS fashion show held in China.
But as if all this weren’t enough, the New York Post is now reporting that the show’s organizers believe the Chinese government is spying on them. Which, of course, is probably true, given Chinese authorities’ well-known penchant for monitoring foreigners.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 19, 2017.

Russia-Gate Spreads To Europe

Ever since the U. S. government dangled $160 million last December to combat Russian propaganda and disinformation, obscure academics and eager think tanks have been lining up for a shot at the loot, an unseemly rush to profit that is spreading the Russia-gate hysteria beyond the United States to Europe…
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Now, it seems that every development, which is unwelcomed by the Establishment – from Brexit to the Catalonia independence referendum – gets blamed on Russia! Russia! Russia!
The methodology of these ‘studies’ is to find some Twitter accounts or Facebook pages somehow ‘linked’ to Russia (although it’s never exactly clear how that is determined) and complain about the ‘Russian-linked’ comments on political developments in the West. The assumption is that the gullible people of the United States, United Kingdom and Catalonia were either waiting for some secret Kremlin guidance to decide how to vote or were easily duped.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 18, 2017.

THE BIGGEST WEALTH TRANSFER IN HISTORY

What will happen between now and 2025? Nobody knows of course but I will later in this article have a little peek into the next 4-8 years.
The concentration of wealth in the world has now reached dangerous proportions. The three richest people in the world have a greater wealth than the bottom 50%. The top 1% have a wealth of $33 trillion whilst the bottom 1% have a debt $196 billion.
The interesting point is not just that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. More interesting is to understand: How did we get there? and what will be the consequences?
PANAMA & PARADISE PAPERS – SENSATIONALISM
As the socialist dominated media dig into the Panama Papers and now recently the Paradise Papers to attack the rich and tell governments to tackle the unacceptable face of capitalism, nobody understands the real reasons for this enormous concentration of wealth. Sadly no journalist does any serious analysis of any issue, whether it is fake economic figures or the state of the world economy.
Instead, all news is accepted as the truth while in fact a lot of news is fake or propaganda. The media is revelling in all the disclosures of offshore trusts and companies. The British Queen is being accused of having ‘hidden’ funds. The fact that offshore entities have been used legally for centuries for privacy, wealth preservation and creditor protection purposes is never mentioned. The media sell more much news by being sensational rather than factual.

This post was published at GoldSwitzerland on November 17, 2017.

The Demise of Dissent: Why the Web Is Becoming Homogenized

In other words, we’ll be left with officially generated and sanctioned fake news and “approved” dissent.
We’ve all heard that the problem with the web is fake news, i.e. unsubstantiated or erroneous content that’s designed to mislead or sow confusion.
The problem isn’t just fake news–it’s the homogenization of the web, that is, the elimination or marginalization of independent voices of skepticism and dissent.
There are four drivers of this homogenization:
1. The suppression of dissent under the guise of ridding the web of propaganda and fake news–in other words, dissent is labeled fake news as a cover for silencing critics and skeptics.
2. The sharp decline of advertising revenues flowing to web publishers, both major outlets and small independent publishers like Of Two Minds.
3. The majority of advert revenues now flow into the coffers of the quasi-monopolies Facebook and Google.
4. Publishers are increasingly dependent on these quasi-monopolies for readers and visibility: any publisher who runs afoul of Facebook and Google and is sent to Digital Siberia effectively vanishes.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017.

Keep Calm & Carry On

Authored by 720Global’s Michael Liebowitz via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,
‘Before long, we will all begin to find out the extent to which Brexit is a gentle stroll along a smooth path to a land of cake and consumption.’ – Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor.
In 1939, the British Government, through the Ministry of Information, produced a series of morale-boosting posters which were hung in public places throughout the British Isles. Faced with German air raids and the imminent threat of invasion, the slogans were aimed at helping the British public brave the testing times that lay ahead. The most enduring of these slogans simply read:
‘Keep Calm and Carry On.’ Ironically, it was the only one of the series that was never actually displayed in public as it was reserved for a German invasion that never transpired. Today, the British Government may wish to summon a fresh propaganda strategy to address a new threat on the horizon, that of the eventuality of Brexit.
The Kingdom Divided
The United Kingdom (UK) is in the process of negotiating out of all policies that, since 1972, formally tied it to the economic dynamics of the broader western European community. Since the unthinkable Brexit vote passage in June 2016, the unthinkable has now become the undoable. The negotiations, policy discussions, logistical considerations and legal wrangling are becoming increasingly problematic as they affect every industry in the UK from trade and finance to hazardous materials, produce, air travel and even Formula 1 racing.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.

Saudi Coup Signals War And The New World Order Reset

For years now, I have been warning about the relationship of interdependency between the U. S. and Saudi Arabia and how this relationship, if ended, would mean disaster for the petrodollar system and by extension the dollar’s world reserve status. In my recent articles ‘Lies And Distractions Surrounding The Diminishing Petrodollar’ and ‘The Economic End Game Continues,’I point out that the death of the dollar as the premier petrocurrency is actually a primary goal for establishment globalists. Why? Because in an effort to achieve what they sometimes call the “global economic reset,” or the “new world order,” a more publicly accepted centralized global economy and monetary framework is paramount. And, this means the eventual implementation of a single world currency and a single global economic and political authority above and beyond the dollar system.
But, it is not enough to simply initiate such socially and fiscally painful changes in a vacuum. The banking powers are not interested in taking any blame for the suffering that would be dealt to the masses during the inevitable upheaval (or blame for the suffering that has already been caused). Therefore, a believable narrative must be crafted. A narrative in which political intrigue and geopolitical crisis make the “new world order” a NECESSITY; one that the general public would accept or even demand as a solution to existing instability and disaster.
That is to say, the globalists must fashion a propaganda story to be used in the future, in which “selfish” nation-states abused their sovereignty and created conditions for calamity, and the only solution was to end that sovereignty and place all power into the hands of a select few “wise and benevolent men” for the greater good of the world.

This post was published at Alt-Market on Wednesday, 15 November 2017.

Venezuela Defaults On A Debt Payment – Is This The First Domino To Fall?

Did you know that Venezuela just went into default? This should be an absolutely enormous story, but the mainstream media is being very quiet about it. Wall Street and other major financial centers around the globe could potentially be facing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, and the ripple effects could be felt for years to come. Sovereign nations are not supposed to ever default on debt payments, and so this is a very rare occurrence indeed. I have been writing about Venezuela for years, and now the crisis that has been raging in that nation threatens to escalate to an entirely new level.
Things are already so bad in Venezuela that people have been eating dogs, cats and zoo animals, but now that Venezuela has officially defaulted, there will be no more loans from the rest of the world and the desperation will grow even deeper…
Venezuela, a nation spiraling into a humanitarian crisis, has missed a debt payment. It could soon face grim consequences.
The South American country defaulted on its debt, according to a statement issued Monday night by S&P Global Ratings. The agency said the 30-day grace period had expired for a payment that was due in October.
A debt default risks setting off a dangerous series of events that could exacerbate Venezuela’s food and medical shortages.
So what might that ‘dangerous series of events’ look like?
Well, Venezuela already has another 420 million dollars of debt payments that are overdue. Investors around the world are facing absolutely catastrophic losses, and the legal wrangling over this crisis could take many years to resolve. The following comes from Forbes…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on November 14th, 2017.

U.S. SHALE OIL PRODUCTION UPDATE: Financial Carnage Continues To Gut Industry

As the Mainstream media reports about the next phase of the glorious U. S. Shale Oil Revolution, the financial carnage continues to gut the industry deep down inside the entrails of its horizontal laterals. The stench of fracking fluid must be driving shale oil advocates utterly insane as they are no longer able to see financial wreckage taking place in these companies quarterly reports.
This weekend, one of my readers sent me the following Bloomberg 45 minute TV special titled, The Next Shale Revolution. If you are in need of a good laugh, I highly recommend watching part of the video. At the beginning of the video, it starts off with President Trump stating that the U. S. has become an energy exporter for the first time ever. Trump goes on to say, ‘that powered by new innovation and technology, we are now on the cusp of a new energy revolution.’ While I have to applaud Trump’s efforts for putting out some positive and reassuring news, I wonder who is providing him with terribly inaccurate energy information.
I would kindly like to remind the reader, the United States is still a NET IMPORTER of oil. We still import nearly six million barrels of oil per day, but we export some finished products and a percentage of our shale oil production. Thus, we still import a net of approximately three million barrels per day of oil.
A few minutes into the Bloomberg video, both Pioneer Resources Chairman, Scott Sheffield, and Continental Resources CEO, Harold Hamm, explain how advanced technology will revolutionize the shale oil industry and bring down costs. I find that statement quite hilarious as Continental Resources and Pioneer continue to spend more money drilling for oil and gas then they make from their operations. As I stated in a previous article, Continental Resources long-term debt ballooned from $165 million in 2007 to $6.5 billion currently. So, how did advanced technology lower costs when Continental now has accumulated debt up to its eyeballs?

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on November 14, 2017.

North Korean Propaganda On Trump: ‘Garbage That Reeks Of Gunpowder To Ignite War’

After North Koreans heard from their state-run media (propaganda) that Donald Trump had said some harsh things about life in the isolated nation, they fired back. And many believe Trump will ‘ignite a war’ between the United States and their own country.
In a speech on Wednesday, President Trump called the isolated communist country ‘a hell that no person deserves.’
But the rebuttal from North Koreans was equally harsh. One woman, who CNN spoke to on the streets of Pyongyang called Trump’s assertion ‘foolish,’ ‘absurd,’ and another word CNN claims they cannot print. ‘The reality here is very different. We’re leading a happy life,’ Ri Yong Hui, a housewife in Pyongyang, told CNN.
North Korean state media reported that Trump had spoken on Thursday, but did not include concrete details of his speech, in which the President slammed Pyongyang’s human rights abuses.

This post was published at shtfplan on November 9th, 2017.