• Category Archives Special Interests
  • UK PMs Push Back As Regulators “Bend The Rules” To Accommodate Saudi Aramco IPO

    All IPO’d up and no place to go? UK portfolio managers with $6.9 trillion resist rule bending by regulator to achieve Aramco London listing

    Another potential problem for the world’s biggest ever (potential) IPO…
    A lobby group representing UK portfolio managers with $6.9 trillion AUM has warned the UK financial regulator that bending the rules to accommodate Aramco’s IPO will damage London’s status as a global financial centre.
    In a letter to the head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the embattled Andrew Bailey, the Investment Association (IA) argued that it threatened the ‘high standards’ of London’s listing regime.
    In ‘Funds fire broadside over Saudi oil float’, the Sunday Times noted that ‘Britain’s largest investors have turned up the heat on the City watchdog over its controversial plans to allow Saudi Arabia’s oil giant to float in London.’
    Besides the tricky issue of its oil and gas reserves (especially the Ghawar field), the IA argued in the letter that ‘For the premium segment of the UK main market, investors must have confidence that a company is run for all shareholders, not just the major or controlling shareholder.’

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


  • Finally Belgium Speaks Out Against Spanish Oppression

    The Belgium Prime minister Charles Michel has come out against Spain and now other European leaders applaud him for taking a position against the repressive action by Spain’s Civil Guard and National Police despite the fact that those in Brussels remain silent because they care only about their own jobs. Brussels has been silent fearing others will rise up as separatists against their rule. So Brussels has demonstrated to the world that human rights come second to self-interest. This oppression in Spain has done far more damage to the EU than most people realize. Their silence has been taken as proof that they too would resort to violence to protect their jobs as well.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 16, 2017.


  • Nightstick Democracy at its finest…

    The last several days in Venezuela have been absolutely mind-blowing.
    Pretty much all the stories you’ve heard are true – countless people eating out of garbage cans, the appalling shortages of basic staples like food, medicine, and even soap… and the lines.
    Oh boy, the lines.
    The longest lines I saw, in fact, were not at grocery stores, but at banks.
    Hundreds of people were queuing up, many of them to pull money out of their accounts to exchange cash on the black market.
    Lines snaked through a bank’s cavernously large lobby, continued outside, wrapped around the entire building, and terminated at some point down the street.

    This post was published at Sovereign Man on October 3, 2017.


  • Behind Vancouver’s Housing Bubble: How Canadian Casinos Are Use To Launder Millions In Chinese Drug Money

    Nearly two years after we first observed that Vancouver‘s soaring real estate market is nothing but a bubbling melange of criminal Chinese oligarch “hot money”, desperate to get parked offshore in any piece of real estate, but mostly in British Columbia regardless of price, a new multi-year investigation has uncovered extensive links – including money laundering and underground banking – between China’s criminal underworld and British Columbia drug and casino cash and VIPs, as well as their connections to China, Macau and the notorious triads.
    In retrospect, and as many suspected, it appears that much of the B. C. real estate bubble can be explained as nothing more than the “layering” and “integration” aspect of a giant money laundering scheme involving billions of dollars of Chinese hot money and the criminals behind it.
    Here is Postmedia’s real estate reporter Sam Cooper reporting on and explaining how British Columbia casinos are used to launder millions in drug cash.
    * * *
    On Oct. 15, 2015, a Mountie burst through the front door of an office in Richmond, carrying a battering ram and with a rifle slung on his back. The door swung shut behind him, locking him inside. He was in the lobby of Silver International Investment, a high-end money transfer business, surrounded by bulletproof glass. Behind a second glass door, a woman rushed to make a call while hiding several cellphones. Under her desk was a safe stuffed with bundles of cash. The Mountie, a large man, counted seconds anxiously, wondering if the woman would unlock the interior door.

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


  • Surprise! The Rules Will Change (But Not to Your Benefit)

    These expedient fixes end up crippling the mechanisms that are needed to actually solve the systemic sources of the crisis.
    We can add a third certainty to the two standard ones (death and taxes): The rules will suddenly change when a financial crisis strikes.</em
    Why is this a certainty? The answer is complex, as it draws on human nature, politics and the structure of societies/economies ruled by centralized states (governments).
    The Core Imperative of the State: Expand Control
    As I explain in my book, Resistance, Revolution, Liberation, the core (i.e. ontological) imperative of every central state is to expand its reach and control. This isn’t just the result of individuals within the state seeking more power; every centralized state views whatever is outside its control as a threat. The way to reduce or neutralize a threat is to take control of the mechanisms that generated it.
    Once the state has gained control of these mechanisms, it is loath to relinquish them; to relinquish control is to invite chaos.
    There is of course an intensely self-serving dynamic to extending state control: those being paid to enforce this state control have an immense vested interest in the state retaining (or even extending) this control, as their livelihoods now depend on the state doing so.
    The higher-ups in the state also have a vested interest in retaining these new controls, as more control means more wealth and power accrue to those at the top of the centralized power pyramid: this extension of state control means private enterprise must now lobby the state for favors, and it gives the higher-ups more perquisites and favors to dispense – for a price, of course.
    This vested interest arises throughout the power pyramid, from the bottom functionary with newfound power over common citizens to the managers of the departmental bureaucracy tasked with enforcing the new control to the apex of state authority.
    This hierarchy of state power creates another threat to the central state; the corralling of state power by fiefdoms within the state itself. In other words, fiefdoms can become semi-autonomous agencies that are only nominally under the control of central authority. The answer is of course additional layers of oversight, compliance, investigation and enforcement within the state itself.

    This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith by Charles Hugh Smith.


  • Exposing The Slimy Business Of ‘Russia-Gate’ (What The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want You To Know)

    As the U. S. government doles out tens of millions of dollars to ‘combat Russian propaganda’, one result is a slew of new ‘studies’ by ‘scholars’ and ‘researchers’ auditioning for the loot…
    ***
    The ‘Field of Dreams’ slogan for America’s NGOs should be: ‘If you pay for it, we will come.’
    And right now, tens of millions of dollars are flowing to non-governmental organizations if they will buttress the thesis of Russian ‘meddling’ in the U. S. democratic process no matter how sloppy the ‘research’ or how absurd the ‘findings.’

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


  • Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – The Big Banks Cometh

    “While the largest banks can correctly claim that they have offloaded risky assets and bolstered the amount of cash on their balance sheets over the last decade, their business model has become fundamentally disconnected from the very people and entities it was designed to serve. Small community banks, which make up only 13 percent of all banking assets, do nearly half of all lending to small businesses.
    Big banks are about deal making. They serve mostly themselves, existing as the middle of the hourglass that is our economy, charging whatever rent they like for others to pass through. (Finance is one of the few industries in which fees have gone up as the sector as a whole has grown.) The financial industry, dominated by the biggest banks, provides only 4 percent of all jobs in the country, yet takes about a quarter of the corporate profit pie.”
    Rana Foroohar, How Big Banks Became Our Masters, NYT
    Why doesn’t Washington reign in the obvious excesses and blatant frauds and abuses of the Big Banks? I will let you answer that one for yourself.
    The Dollar rally and a ‘risk on’ attitude continued to pressure the precious metals today.
    Trump and crew have unveiled their tax ‘reform’ plan’s framework. It will be interesting to see how their latest legislative effort actually unfolds. The special interests and Big Money are preparing to storm the swamp.

    This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 27 SEPTEMBER 2017.


  • The EU Needs A Three-Child Policy – And China Should Pay For It!

    Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,
    The EU’s policy of ‘replacement migration’ is an economic failure and threatens to undermine China’s New Silk Road strategy for Europe by diminishing the continent’s much-needed consumer market potential, which should thereby serve as an impetus for Beijing to consider investing in social programs there as a means of encouraging replacement fertility for the EU’s citizens.
    The Roots Of ‘Replacement Migration’
    The EU’s liberal-progressive ruling elite aided and abetted the Migrant Crisis as a means of encouraging ‘replacement migration’ to compensate for their falling populations, naively believing in the dogma of their bloc’s de-facto ‘Cultural Marxist’ ideology that civilizationally dissimilar migrants will seamlessly adapt to their new host societies and quickly become productive citizens. They expected that the relatively impoverished and in many cases largely uneducated ‘New Europeans’ from Africa, the Mideast, and South Asia who have uncontrollably flooded into Europe would have no problem climbing the ladder of socio-economic success in one day replacing their dying European counterparts in all professional spheres.
    It should also be reminded in this vein that these ‘New Europeans’ didn’t just appear out of nowhere, but are the product of the unipolar wars that created them in the first place and the NGO-assisted human trafficking networks that then imported these ‘Weapons of Mass Migration’ to Europe, both activities of which the EU elite have been complicit in. As could have been anticipated by any objective observer not under the influence of ‘Cultural Marxism’, this irresponsible multi-layered policy has totally failed in its presumed economic intentions, though it’s cynically succeeded in planting the seeds for a massive socio-cultural reengineering of some leading European countries’ demographics.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 25, 2017.


  • Is Identity Politics Brewing a Holocaust?

    Signs of American collapse are everywhere. Apparently no one notices. The world continues to vote with the US in the UN. When even Russia and China serve as handmaidens to US foreign policy by voting with Washington against North Korea, it appears that the image of America as the exceptional and indispensable country is a propaganda success even among Washington’s most threatened enemies. When Russia and China follow Washington’s lead, it shows the world that there is no alternative to Washington’s leadership.
    A country with a $20 trillion public debt, an even larger private debt, a work force drowning in debt and employed in third world lowly paid domestic services, a stock market pumped up beyond all reason by Federal Reserve liquidity and companies using their profits to repurchase their own stock, a military that’s been tied down for 16 years by a few lightly armed Muslims, a propaganda ministry instead of a media with public ignorance the consequence, and with a total collapse of morality in public and private institutions along with the disappearance of courage, is nevertheless able to make the entire world dance to its tune. Washington is the Wizard of Oz.
    Washington in the past 16 years has destroyed in whole or part seven countries, murdering, maiming, orphaning, widowing, and displacing millions of peoples. Yet Washington still presents itself as the great defender of human rights, democracy, and all that is good. The American people have voiced few words of protest against the massive crimes against humanity committed by ‘their’ government.

    This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on September 20, 2017.


  • Global Stocks Storm To New Record High Ahead Of Historic Fed Announcement

    Last week’s bullish sentiment that sent the S&P not only to a new all time highs, but a burst of last-second buying pushed above 2,500 for the first time ever, has carried through to the new week, with European and Asian shares rallying across the board, US futures again the green, and world stocks hitting a new record high on Monday ahead of a historic Fed meeting in which the FOMC is expected to announce the start of the shrinkage of its balance sheet.
    ***
    ‘The FOMC’s latest verdict will be of special interest,’ said Daniel Lenz, an analyst at DZ Bank in Frankfurt. ‘The Fed could well set the balance-sheet-reduction process in motion.’
    MSCI’s index of world stocks hit a new all-time high, adding to gains seen on Friday when Wall Street set its own record level, while Europe’s main stock index opened at a six-week high on Monday and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan rose to heights not seen since late 2007.
    As DB’s Jim Reid summarizes the week’s key events, this week will be dominated by 3 of the most powerful women in the world “and I’m not talking about Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister and Sansa Stark. Instead we have our real world version with Mrs Yellen likely to announce the end of Fed reinvestment on Wednesday, Mrs Merkel firm favourite with the pollsters to see a big election win on Sunday and Mrs May set to outline her latest Brexit vision in Florence on Friday. Of the three, Mrs May’s speech is currently the least predictable but after a big week for the UK last week (GBPUSD +2.98%, GBPEUR +3.75%, 10yr Gilts +32bps, and the November hike probability from 18.4% to 64.5% according to Bloomberg’s calculator), Sterling assets are seeing some significant volatility at the moment.”

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


  • Bilderberg: The world’s most secretive conference is as out of touch as ever

    Say what you like about Bilderberg, but they’ve got a sense of humour. The agenda for this year’s secretive summit of the global elite is full of in-jokes. They get big laughs straight off the bat by describing themselves as ‘a diverse group of political leaders and experts’.
    They’re trumpeting the diversity of a conference where less than 25% of the participants are female. Which would be a huge step forward, if it were currently 1963.
    And as for racial diversity, there are more senior executives of Goldman Sachs at this year’s Bilderberg than there are people of colour.
    Perhaps by ‘diverse’ they mean that some of the participants own hedge funds, whereas others own vast industrial conglomerates. Some are on the board of HSBC, others are on the board of BP. Some are lobbyists, others are being lobbied. That sort of thing.
    Dafter still is the agenda item: ‘Can globalisation be slowed down?’ You think that the assembled heads of Google, AT&T, Bayer, Airbus, Deutsche Bank, Ryanair, Fiat Chrysler, and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange want to see a brake on globalisation? It’s the air that they breathe.

    This post was published at The Guardian


  • Italian Prime Minister Secretly Meets With George Soros In Rome Amid Migrant Transport Scandal

    In the past few weeks, the transport of migrants from the African shores has become a case of national importance for Italy, and is now under investigation from the prosecutor of Catania, who recently testified to the Defence Committee of the Italian Senate and will meet soon with the Superior Council of the Magistrates.
    Harsh criticism of the activities of the NGOs has come from opposition parties Forza Italia, Lega Nord and even Movimento 5 Stelle, normally more neutral on immigration issues, while Prime Minister Gentiloni has opted to let the judicial system run its course.
    Yet, a new element will further exacerbate the situation; George Soros, a billionaire who is incredibly active politically on both sides of the Atlantic, met in secrecy with Prime Minister Gentiloni, less than a week after the latter had commented on the NGOs activities. The meeting was not listed on the website of the Italian government as official and its timing is at the very least suspicious.
    George Soros had penned multiple arguments in favour of immigration, suggesting that Europe should welcome ‘at least one million refugees a year’ and that the EU should create EU-bonds to support attendant expenses.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 4, 2017.


  • Trump Tax Plan Latest: Lobbyists Fear “Big Nothing Burger”

    The buzz is beginning to build around Trump’s tax plan and what Americans can expect (and perhaps more notably, should not expect) to hear tomorrow.
    After seemingly punting on the Border Wall funding, Citi notes that Politico has published an article detailing what is currently expected of the Trump tax plan:
    What’s In…
    “Marquee policy ideas are expected to include infrastructure spending and a childcare tax credit“
    “Expected to tout a corporate rate of 15%“
    What’s Out…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 25, 2017.


  • Week in Review: April 22, 2017

    Tax day came and went this week, ironically moved to the 17th due to Washington DC celebrating “emancipation day.” Washington’s addiction to spending keeps tax rates high, while the labyrinthine enriches lobbyists while causing headaches for Americans across the country. As Ludwig von Mises write in Human Action, “The metamorphosis of taxes into weapons of destruction is the mark of present-day public finance.”
    The cost of taxation isn’t limited to what government takes out of taxpayer wallets.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on April 22, 2017.


  • Turks Buying Gold, Uncertain of Their Political Future

    A constitutional referendum in Turkey in mid-April could bring the most significant change to the county’s political structure since the introduction of its multiparty election system in 1945. With all of the uncertainty surrounding the vote and a shaky monetary system, Turks are starting to buy gold in large quantities. Turkish gold imports surged 17-fold to 28.2 tons in March, according to a Reuters report, as Turks seek out the safe haven inherent in precious metals.

    Polling indicates a close and contentious vote, and passage of the referendum would create a ‘Turkish-style’ executive presidency and vastly increase the president’s powers. According to Human Rights Watch, two important provisions would immediately go into effect.
    ‘The president would have increased authority over the body that administers the judiciary and controls the appointment of judges and prosecutors, and the prohibition against the president having a formal party affiliation would be lifted. The courts in Turkey are already under political influence and these changes would further reduce judicial independence.’

    This post was published at Schiffgold on APRIL 5, 2017.


  • Audit the Pentagon

    One of the benefits of being an extremely powerful lobby in Washington is the ability to live off the taxpayers without ever having to tell the taxpayers what you they with their money. This includes two of the most powerful lobbies in DC: the Fed and the Pentagon.1
    In recent years, thanks to Ron Paul, the “Audit the Fed” movement has gained a high profile in Washington and continues to be an election issue. Far less salient, however, is the issue of Auditing the Pentagon. And, unfortunately, like the Fed, the Pentagon is able to quash efforts to make the massive military establishment more transparent and more accountable in its spending. In fact, the Fed’s refusal to submit to any sort of full or meaningful audit has become so intransigent that Senators Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders co-sponsored the “Audit the Pentagon Act of 2015” to force the Pentagon to submit to auditors.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on April 5, 2017.


  • GIBRALTAR: A Tax Haven, Not A Nation

    21st Century Wire says…
    Former Conservative leader Michael Howard has suggested that British Prime Minister Theresa May ‘would be prepared to go to war to protect Gibraltar as Margaret Thatcher once did for the Falklands’. His comments have been met with immediate criticism and dubbed ‘inflammatory’.
    Fabian Picardo, the chief minister of Gibraltar, received a call from May on Sunday morning to say the UK remained ‘steadfastly committed to our support for Gibraltar, its people and its economy’.
    With regards to economy, enter Craig Murray and his popular blog. A historian, former Ambassador, and Human Rights Activist, Craig takes us down the road that the mainsteam media today are not discussing; Gibraltar as a ‘tax haven’ and the so called ‘nationalism’ and discussion of ‘sovereignty’ by the British Parliament.
    Are the British government authentically steadfast to the democratic wishes of the British inhabitants of Gibraltar, or is this developing Brexit fracas more about preservation of another UK tax haven.

    This post was published at 21st Century Wire on APRIL 2, 2017.


  • Tax Revolt in Belarus Turning to Mass Arrests

    For weeks now, thousands of people have gone public in Belarus to protest against a special tax for ‘little workers’ and demanded the resignation of Aleksandr Grigoryevich Lukashenko who has been the autocratic President of Belarus, in office since July 20th, 1994. Lukashenko had issued a decree that people who work less than six months a year have to pay a tax of 189 euros. This was to prevent ‘social parasitism’, which he explained was the justification. In view of the protests, he temporarily suspended the decree, but the crisis is getting worse.
    Lukashenko is seen by many as really a dictator. His police arrests those who were going to speak at the protest and they stormed the human rights office arresting people there in advance. The instability building in Belarus is really serious. Additionally, Lukashenko has lashed out at Russia and accused Moscow of violating their 20-year old border agreement, in a escalating dispute that has become a source of tension with his country’s neighbor and strongest ally. It appears that we will see the collapse of the current government by 2020.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Mar 27, 2017.


  • Watch These Geopolitical Flashpoints Carefully

    Anyone who has been involved in alternative geopolitical and economic analysis for a decent length of time understands that the establishment power structure thrives according to its ability to either exploit natural crises, or to engineer fabricated crises.
    This is not that hard to comprehend, but for some reason there are a lot of people out there who simply assume that global sea-change events just happen ‘at random,’ that the elites are stupid or oblivious, and that all outcomes are a matter of random chance rather than being directed or manipulated. I call these people ‘intellectual idiots,’ because they believe they are applying logic to every scenario but they are sabotaged by an inherent bias which causes them to deny the potential for ‘conspiracy.’
    To clarify, their logic folds in on itself and becomes faulty. They believe themselves objective, but they abandon objectivity when they staunchly refuse to consider the possibility of covert influence by organized special interests. When you internally dismiss the possibility of a thing, no amount of evidence will ever convince you of its reality. This is how the ‘smartest’ people in the room can end up being the dumbest people in the room.
    In the survivalist community there is a philosophy – there is no such thing as a crisis for those who are prepared. This is true for prepared individuals as much as it is true for prepared communities and prepared nations. The only way a society can fall is when it becomes willfully ignorant of potential outcomes and refuses to organize against them.
    By extension, it would make sense that by being prepared for a particular crisis or outcome an individual or group could not only survive, but also profit. It is not crazy or outlandish to entertain the idea that there are groups in power (perhaps for many generations) that aggressively seek to predict or even force particular outcomes in geopolitics for their own profit. And, by profit, I do not necessarily mean material wealth. In many cases, the power of influence and psychological sway over the masses might be considered a far greater prize than money or property.
    You can buy slaves or purchase the means to make demands of people at gunpoint, but you cannot put a price on fealty or adoration. This is what establishment elites ultimately want – voluntary servitude from the populace. They want us to beg for their leadership rather than begrudgingly accept it under threat.
    To this end, a Hegelian model of problem – reaction – solution is required. You cannot influence people to volunteer for servitude and submission unless they are sufficiently terrified of the alternative.

    This post was published at Alt-Market on 24 March 2017.


  • Why free trade is officially dead

    G20 Finance ministers meeting in Baden Baden last weekend agreed, on America’s insistence, to drop the long-standing commitment to free trade from the final communiqu. It is hard to know to what extent America’s position is driven by her autarkic view on world trade, or to what extent it is an acknowledgement of the fruitlessness of paying lip-service to an ideal which is never delivered. Doubtless, it’s a bit of both.
    It is certainly true that finance ministers in the advanced nations have always shown a protectionist attitude towards international trade, protectionism that has intensified through attacks on American international corporations, which to a large extent can choose where to pay their taxes. The thrust of research by international NGOs, particularly the Paris-based OECD, has been to decry tax competition; however, even though it has bullied tax-havens to supply tax-related information to revenue-hungry states, it has failed to stop multinationals, armed with teams of tax lawyers, from complying with their statist demands.

    This post was published at GoldMoney on MARCH 23, 2017.