• Category Archives Corruption
  • Dilbert’s Scott Adams Explains “How To Know You’re In A Mass Hysteria Bubble”

    History is full of examples of Mass Hysterias. They happen fairly often. The cool thing about mass hysterias is that you don’t know when you are in one. But sometimes the people who are notexperiencing the mass hysteria can recognize when others are experiencing one, if they know what to look for.
    I’ll teach you what to look for.

    A mass hysteria happens when the public gets a wrong idea about something that has strong emotional content and it triggers cognitive dissonance that is often supported by confirmation bias. In other words, people spontaneously hallucinate a whole new (and usually crazy-sounding) reality and believe they see plenty of evidence for it. The Salem Witch Trials are the best-known example of mass hysteria. The McMartin Pre-School case and the Tulip Bulb hysteria are others. The dotcom bubble probably qualifies. We might soon learn that the Russian Collusion story was mass hysteria in hindsight. The curious lack of solid evidence for Russian collusion is a red flag. But we’ll see how that plays out.

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

  • “This Is A Full-Blown Scandal: It’s Unbelievable, Outrageous” – Comptroller Demands Heads Roll At Wells

    Wells Fargo is in boiling hot water. Again.
    One day after the NYT reported the latest major scandal involving Warren Buffett’s favorite bank, in which the bank was busted less than a year after its miss-selling fraud cost the former CEO his job, revealing that the bank charged some 800,000 customers for auto insurance they did not need (with some still paying for it), the demands for resignation have arrived.
    In a statement from NYC Comtroller Scott Stringer, he demands that Wells Fargo must immediately “jump-start” necessary board change by replacing Chairman Stephen Sanger with a new independent chairperson following the latest “mismanagement” revelations.
    In surprisingly harsh words, Stringer does not hold anything back against the worst performing bank stock today (WFC -2.8%):
    “This is a full-blown scandal – again. It’s unbelievable, outrageous, sad, and yet quintessential Wells Fargo. This isn’t just a corporate debacle. It’s caused real human harm. It’s reflective of a system that Americans feel is rigged against the little guy, and sadly symbolic of a culture that puts short-term profits ahead of creating sustainable value for shareowners. Everyday families have suffered and tens of millions of hard-earned dollars were stripped from unsuspecting Americans, many of whom are struggling just to get by. In the end, shareowners ultimately suffer the long-term consequences.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.

  • The Bottom Line On The Coulter Seat Deal

    Ann Coulter may be one of the most-hated women in America (by half the country, anyway) but that doesn’t change what happened with her and Delta.
    She paid for an assigned and premium seat. She was assigned that seat. The airline then moved her to give that seat to someone else.
    Folks, this isn’t “overbooking”, but it is fraud.
    Contract of carriage or no, the facts are simple in this sort of situation. Today airlines do not give you assigned seats until you get to the airport unless you pay an extra fee. That is, an assigned seat is no longer part of your “base fare”, it is an explicit service for which you pay.
    Once you’ve paid you’ve had offer, acceptance and an act in furtherance of performance has taken place.
    That’s a binding contract — period.

    This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-07-23.

  • Bankers Get Their Criminal Convictions Overturned

    The Second Circuit Federal Court of Appeals overturned the convictions of two former Rabobank traders in the LIBOR London interbank market manipulation scandal saying the men’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination had been violated. Former Rabobank traders Anthony Conti and Anthony Allen, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison by Judge Rakoff who said that he was ‘mystified’ that prosecutors only went after institutions since punishing individuals has a deterrent effect on others in a profession.
    Nevertheless, the three-judge panel of the Second Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals in New York dismissed the charges against the two former Rabobank traders who were convicted on conspiracy and wire-fraud charges in November 2015. In a unanimous 81-page ruling, the Second Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes wrote that the two men’s convictions were tainted because a witness against them had been aware of testimony authorities in the U. K. had forced them to provide.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 21, 2017.

  • EBay And PayPal Have An ENORMOUS Fraud Enabling Problem

    I have recently become aware of an utterly enormous fraud vector problem with both of these related (used to be that PayPal was owned by Ebay) sites.
    On every reputable site around the Internet, no matter what it is, when you sign up for an account you have to verify that you own the email address that you give them before they will let you do anything.
    That’s true everywhere. It’s true for banks. It’s true for forums like mine, Garmin’s or anyone else’s. It’s true in every instance I’m aware of; you sign up, you get a link in your email, you click the link which is only known to you and then, and only then, can you do anything.
    Except with eBAY and PayPal.
    I do not know when this changed, but it has. Someone (and I know who it is) used a very old email address that belongs to me and is not used for any of these sorts of things (but has a legitimate purpose) to sign up for an eBAY account and pay for items using PayPal.

    This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-07-03.

  • History’s Biggest “Butterfly Effect” Occurred On This Day

    The butterfly effect is the concept that small causes can have large effects. Initially, it was used with weather prediction but later the term became a metaphor used in and out of science.
    In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. The name, coined by Edward Lorenz for the effect which had been known long before, is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a tornado (exact time of formation, exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier. Lorenz discovered the effect when he observed that runs of his weather model with initial condition data that was rounded in a seemingly inconsequential manner would fail to reproduce the results of runs with the unrounded initial condition data. A very small change in initial conditions had created a significantly different outcome. – Wikipedia
    On this day in history, June 28, 1914, the driver for Archduke Franz Ferdinand, nephew of Emperor Franz Josef and heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, made a wrong turn onto Franzjosefstrasse in Sarajevo.
    Just hours earlier, Franz Ferdinand narrowly escaped assassination as a bomb bounced off his car as he and his wife, Sophie, traveled from the local train station to the city’s civic city. Rather than making the wrong turn onto Franz Josef Street, the car was supposed to travel on the river expressway allowing for a higher speed ensuring the Archduke’s safety.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 28, 2017.

  • Protesters Interrupt Final Play Of Trump Assassination – “The Blood Of Steve Scalise Is On Your Hands”

    Despite the recent mass shooting in Alexandria, Va that nearly claimed the life a Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a shooting that looks to be attributable to a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome brought on by mass media hysteria over Trump’s presidency, “Shakespeare in the Park” carried on with their rendition of Julius Caesar which includes the assassination of President Trump. For those who have managed to avoid knowledge of this play, here is a short intro:
    But, courtesy of some conservative protesters, the last couple of assassinations of the season didn’t go as smoothly as planned. Here is video of the first interruption as a protester storms the stage yelling “Goebbels would be proud!” and “Liberal Hate Kills!”

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

  • “Someone’s Going To Jail” Gingrich Warns Mueller’s Russia ‘Witch Hunt’ Too Big To Fail Now

    After the Washington Post-New York Times-CNN axis got the public worked into a lather by effectively trying President Donald Trump and his administration in the court of public opinion, Americans are desperate to see somebody held accountable for…wait…what is it again? Collusion? Obstruction? The narrative changes so quickly, it’s difficult keeping track.
    Enter Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who told Fox’s Sean Hannity on Friday that the investigators who’ve been hired by Special Counsel Robert Mueller won’t quit until they’ve found their own Scooter Libby-type figure to play the role of political pariah.

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

  • Trump: “Zero Proof” Of Russian Collusion “So Now They Go For Obstruction Of Justice”

    They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2017

    Yesterday, when we summarized the latest WaPo article according to which Special Counsel Mueller is now probing Trump for obstruction of justice, we said “the intelligence community basically forced Trump’s hand by slowly leaking out damaging innuendos and accusations over the past several months, while refusing to confirm that he, himself, was never actually under investigation. In the end, those damaging leaks, combined with Comey’s refusal to confirm publicly that Trump was not under investigation, resulted in Comey’s sudden dismissal on May 9th. And now, even though he was never a target of any investigation, leaks from the intelligence community have forced a situation where Trump may be under investigation by the intelligence community, a rather confounding, if perhaps well-orchestrated, outcome.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 15, 2017.

  • Bank Of America, Delta Pull Out Of “Shakespeare In The Park” Over Trump Assassination Scene

    Delta Air Lines and Bank of America pulled their sponsorship of New York City’s Public Theater, which hosts the popular “Shakespeare in the Park” series, after Donald Trump Jr. raised the question of whether its staging of Julius Caesar had crossed the line into political speech by depicting the violent assassination of Trump’s father, President Donald Trump.
    ‘I wonder how much of this ‘art’ is funded by taxpayers? Serious question, when does ‘art’ become political speech & does that change things?,” Trump said in a tweet.
    Unsurprisingly, The New York Times – another sponsor, and ostensibly a politically neutral media organization – is standing by the theater.
    As a reminder, CNN also called the play “a masterpiece,” and publicly recommended it to others…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 12, 2017.

  • Trump Impeachment Odds Slide After Comey Testimony

    So what is the verdict from Comey’s historic testimony?
    It depends on who you ask: turning to CNN, reading the NYT or WaPo, or any source of left-leaning news, and virtually every commentator will be certain that Trump’s political career has been terminally truncated as a result of today’s events. Alternatively, and inversely, the right will claim the opposite: Comey failed to do any damage to the president, the Russian collusion narrative is now over, and that it is Comey’s own actions that should be probed.
    Both are to be expected.
    But what about the reaction by an impartial arbiter such as the market? Conveiently, that’s what PredictIt is for, and as the chart below shows, Trump’s 2017 impeachment odds dropped by 4 points, from 21% to 17%, following Comey’s testimony.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 8, 2017.

  • Turkey Bans Short-Selling, Online-Trading As Nation’s Best-Performing Stock Crashes

    After soaring over 100% in the last 3 weeks, Sasa Polyster Sanayi – Turkey’s best-performing stock of the year – crashed 19% at the open after regulators admitted investigations into potentially fraudulent transactions.
    The regulator cited trading irregularities between March 24 and May 23, when the stock more than doubled to become the top performer on the Borsa Istanbul 100 Index.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 29, 2017.

  • Barclays chief apologises to shareholders for trying to identify whistleblower

    Jes Staley has apologised to Barclays shareholders for the ‘error’ that the bank’s chief executive admitted he had made in trying to uncover the identity of a whistleblower.
    Seeking to take the sting out of the bank’s annual meeting on Wednesday, Mr Staley said: ‘I feel it is important that I acknowledge to you – our shareholders – that I made a mistake in becoming involved in an issue which I should have left to the business to deal with.’
    ‘I have apologised to the board, and I would today like to apologise to you as well, for that error,’ said the 60-year-old American who was hired to run Barclays in December 2015.
    The Barclays board has given Mr Staley a formal reprimand and promised to cut his pay by a ‘very significant’ amount for ordering the bank’s security team to try to identify a whistleblower who had made allegations about a recently recruited colleague.

    This post was published at Financial Times

  • Another Fraudulent Jobs Report

    ‘Willing suspension of disbelief’ is defined as a willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment. First off, I want to state upfront that there’s nothing enjoyable about the monthly non-farm payroll report unless you enjoy being subjected to brain damage.
    Each month the Government asks us to suspend our critical faculties and accept the headline-reported number of new jobs created by the economy as well as the unemployment rate. Once again the Government did not disappoint, as it headline-flashed the alleged creation of 211,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.4%.
    Unfortunately, for the mindless masses who consume fast-food style news from mainstream news sources, once the headline numbers are absorbed and the ‘experts’ reaffirm them with their idiotic psycho-babble, the numbers as reported miraculously become The Numbers.
    To say that the latest non-farm payroll report stretches the ability to suspend one’s disbelief is an understatement. The Government wants us to believe that 211,000 new jobs were created in April – ‘seasonally adjusted,’ of course. A cursory glance reveals that 162,000 working age civilians decided to just leave the labor force, which explains the alleged decline in the unemployment rate. Either those folks who walked away were bequeathed with Social Security disability, took out a big student loan and enrolled for an online degree program at one of the many online universities or, most likely, their jobless benefits expired and they simply gave up looking for a job that pays more than minimum wage (Note: the latter explanation is supported by the recent spike up in auto loan, credit card and mortgage delinquency rates).

    This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on May 5, 2017.

  • Gold-Futures Shorting Attacks

    Gold has suffered a sharp pullback over the past couple weeks, stoking much bearish sentiment. While a variety of factors fed this selloff, the precipitating catalyst was a gold-futures shorting attack. These are relatively-rare episodes of extreme selling specifically timed and executed to manipulate gold prices lower rapidly. Traders need to understand these events, which are inherently self-limiting and soon bullish.
    Gold-futures shorting attacks are very real, with telltale volume and price signatures unlike anything else. I’ve studied them for many years now, and have written extensively about them in our newsletters as they occur. But it’s critical to realize these rare events are only responsible for a tiny fraction of all gold selling. The vast majority of the time gold selloffs are driven by other far-more-normal factors, not shorting attacks.
    These isolated anomalous episodes are often cited as proof the gold price is actively manipulated. But whether that’s true or not, gold-futures shorting attacks can only explain tiny sporadic swaths of gold-price behavior. When they occur their impacts can definitely be outsized, but these are always short-lived. That’s because the huge selling necessary to execute a shorting attack is far too extreme to be sustained.
    Gold-futures shorting attacks are naturally a subset of gold-futures trading, which dominates short-term gold prices. Gold-futures speculators enjoy a wildly-disproportional impact on gold levels for a couple of key reasons. The American-gold-futures-derived gold price is the world’s reference price. So whatever the futures speculators as a herd are doing greatly affects popular psychology among gold traders globally.

    This post was published at ZEAL LLC on May 5, 2017.

  • Ted Butler Quote of the Day 05-05-17

    My letter to the CFTC included this passage – “Almost without fail, on every past occasion where the concentrated short position in COMEX silver futures reached extreme levels, it was only a matter of time before the price of silver gets rigged lower by these big shorts to induce speculative selling from traders operating on technical price signals. In fact, COT report data indicate that JPMorgan has never taken a loss, only profits on every silver short position it has added over the past nine years. Such results would not be possible in a market that wasn’t manipulated in price. In essence, speculators have taken over the price discovery process in silver because there are so few real hedgers trading on the COMEX, only speculating banks betting against other speculative traders.”

    Considering that several hundred individuals took the time to contact the CFTC on this matter, it is not possible for the agency to have failed to notice that silver prices were deliberately rigged lower just as advertised beforehand. The Commission’s own data confirm and will confirm that technical fund traders were the big sellers and the bank shorts, led by JP Morgan, were the big buyers on the recent price rout. The necessary ingredients for manipulation were all present and accounted for – means, motive and opportunity.

    Another undeniable conclusion is that JP Morgan has done it once again, namely, teamed up with the other big COMEX commercial shorts to rig silver prices lower and has begun to buy back recently added short positions with profits. Thus, a nine year perfect trading record has been extended and preserved. Nine years after taking over Bear Stearns, JP Morgan has established the perfect record in only buying back any added short positions in COMEX silver at a profit and never, ever at a loss

      More precious metals news & information available at
    Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Digest.

  • Brad Birkenfeld: Lucifer’s Banker…a whistle-blower’s account of exposing massive fraud at UBS

    Just how bad is the ongoing fraud in the banking system? Get ready for a mind-bowing expos by a former insider at UBS.
    Brad Birkenfield, author of Lucifer’s Banker: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy, recounts the efforts he uncovered by his employer to help its clients cheat the U.S. government out of tens of billions in taxes.
    But despite his working with the government closely to expose the gigantic conspiracy between U.S.-based tax cheats and the giant Swiss bank, UBS, the so-called Justice Department went after Mr. Birkenfeld for abetting tax evasion by one of his clients. After spending thirty months in Federal prison, he was released and three weeks later, received a whistle-blower check for $104 million, the largest such check ever from the IRS Whistle-blower Office.

    This post was published at Peak Prosperity

  • DOJ Probing Goldman For Rigging Treasury Auctions

    While we doubt anything material will emerge for various obvious reasons, the NY Post reports that the DOJ is probing Goldman Sachs for alleged Treasury auction rigging: the charge is that Goldman, one of the 23 US primary dealers, won almost all Treasury bond auctions from 2007 to about 2011 even after the Treasury department established safeguards to maintain competitiveness. The case is said to center on chats and emails showing Goldman traders sharing price information with traders at other banks:
    Chats and emails believed to show Goldman traders sharing sensitive price information with traders at other banks are at the center of the case, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
    ‘They didn’t lose many bids,’ one person who has seen the bid data told The Post. The prices Goldman offered for Treasury bonds ‘would be very close’ but just above offers from other banks, and typically arrived ‘at the end of the auction.’
    While not the first time we have had news of a DOJ probe into Treasury market rigging – the Post itself reported last March virtually the same story, namely that “Goldman Sachs probed in alleged Treasury rigging“, and prior that in June of 2015 – the details are new, and suggest that collusion between the banks reaches far beyond merely FX. Also notable is the deference to Goldman by other banks, raising questions what was the quid pro quo. The timing is also notable, coming at a time when at least half a dozen Goldman Sachs alumni are in high levels of the executive branch. Which is perhaps why Goldman feels compelled to clarify that “No one has accused any bank, or Mnuchin or Cohn, of any wrongdoing.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 3, 2017.