Oct 282019
 October 28, 2019  Posted by at 1:54 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Cimabue Christ mocked c1280
(Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters. Painting discovered in an old woman’s kitchen in Sept, sold for $28 million this week)


Trump Kept Gang of 8 In The Dark About Baghdadi Raid (WE)
Bill Barr Formally Announces Orwellian Pre-Crime Program (Webb)
Russia Calls Increase In US Troops In Syrian Oil Fields ‘Banditry’ (Hill)
Russian FM Lavrov Warns US Against Undermining Syria’s Sovereignty (RT)
The Plundering of Ukraine by Corrupt American Democrats (Shamir)
Bundestag MPs Demand That US Troops Leave Germany (RT)
European Leaders Agree Brexit Extension To 31 January (BBC)
Three Things I Learned In Washington (van Steenis)



As I already said in the TAE comments yesterday, I want to halt the daily Debt Rattles, at least for a while. I feel, and this has been building for quite some time, that they have outlived their purpose, which was always to put the daily news in context. But lately I felt it was not enough about -and by- me, and too much about the MSM.

Moreover, the Debt Rattles took away all of my mornings, 5-6 hours at a time, and I should be able to make better use of what is arguably the most productive time of the day. I have a lot more to say about this, for instance the growing place of paywalls in the news field, but I’ll do that in a separate article. I don’t know how aware people are about how much, and how fast, “news” is changing, but it’s a topic that warrants much more attention.

And did I mention the Automatic Earth has been almost wholly demonetized by Ad Sense? We’re going to need a lot more donations, the entire model for sites such as this one is rapidly changing. And I don’t want to also disappear behind a paywall, that defeats the purpose. More on that later as well. It’s not the direct reason behind halting the Debt Rattles, but it has crossed my mind. We can’t go on like this. Losing 85% of ad revenue is lethal at some point. Donations via Paypal and Patreon can be made at the top of the left and right sidebars.

I may take a few days to decide on the format I will continue in, but then I will be back and be better at it. As you may know, one of the things that has royally irked me over the past few years is how the MSM increasingly moved towards wanting to shape people’s views and opinions, instead of reporting on the news.

The incessant criticism of Trump, whether you like him or not, should have rung big blazing red alarm bells for everyone. And that wasn’t even because of a difference of opinions, it was -and is-, as I wrote over a year ago, because Trump Sells Better Than Sex.

So if you get your news from one of those outlets, you’re being duped for the sake of their profits.

The recent videos from Project Veritas, which show CNN boss Jeff Zucker hammering on about impeachment, exclusively, say it all really. I think that now that we’re there, and everybody has been able to be informed about it, a more personal approach than news overviews, despite all the effort at providing context, is called for.


I can start off today with a perfect example. The alleged US killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has put the MSM in an awkward position. On the one hand they cheer everything that even smells like warfare, on the other they can’t be seen uttering even one syllable that doesn’t slam Trump.

And then you get this sort of stuff, from Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, likely written just moments after hearing Trump’s speech on the attack. I don’t care much for such speeches, and from what I did pick up certainly not this one, but I’d like to see someone explain how it differed from Hillary’s “We Cam We Saw He Died after Gaddafi” was sodomized to death by US troops. And I wonder what Cillizza had on that.

Moreover, lest we forget, al-Baghdadi was an actual terrorist, while Gaddafi ran the region’s most prosperous nation. But all Cillizza can manage is an article entitled The 41 Most Shocking Lines From Donald Trump’s Baghdadi Announcement. No, I didn’t read them. It’s Orange Man Bad cubed territory. Cillizza works for Zucker, after all, it’s his job description.

Bloomberg meanwhile ran this headline:

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi transformed himself from a little-known teacher of Koranic recitation into the self-proclaimed ruler of an entity that covered swaths of Syria and Iraq

While the Washington Post messed up even worse, changing their headline on the fly

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48

Reaction on witter: The very first headline called #Baghdadi as ‘terrorist-in-chief’. It was DELIBERATELY CHANGED to ‘austere religious scholar’. After backlash you changed it to ‘extremist leader’.

Some other reactions:

Adolf Hitler, dedicated art enthusiast, animal rights activist, and talented orator, dies at 56.

“Jeffrey Dahmer, connoisseur of exotic and locally sourced meats, dies at 34”

Trump didn’t brief Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff etc. (the Gang of 8) until after the raid was finished, and of course they complained. As Aaron Maté put it:

I was wondering if there was going to be a public celebration of the Baghdadi operation like when bin Laden was killed, but more likely this time is a vigil for Adam Schiff not getting briefed.

And Caitlin Johnstone:

If America actually wanted to end ISIS they wouldn’t kill its easily replaceable mascot, they’d stop slaughtering Middle Eastern civilians, end foreign occupations, and cease allying with nations which support violent extremists.



“Washington is a leaking machine.”

Trump Kept Gang of 8 In The Dark About Baghdadi Raid (WE)

President Trump confirmed Sunday he did not notify particular congressional committees ahead of the U.S. raid that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The House Intelligence Committee, currently spearheading impeachment inquiry proceedings against the president, was not notified about the raid in advance, one aide told CBS News. Trump’s inner circle for decisions pertaining to such matters appears to have become smaller since leaks within his administration threaten his presidency. According to another report from ABC News, Trump told Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr about the raid after it happened, as well as Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, members of the “Gang of 8″ a group of Congressional leaders who receive classified intelligence briefings on a routine basis, were not notified, aides said. Graham is not part of the Gang of 8. A reporter asked Trump after his announcement if certain congressional committees and leadership were told of the raid before it happened. “We notified some,” Trump replied. “Others are being notified now as I speak. We were going to notify them last night, but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before. There’s nothing — there’s no country in the world that leaks like we do, and Washington is a leaking machine.”

Read more …

This from Whitney Webb needs a million times more scrutiny than it is getting. But the media are interested only in bashing Trump, because that’s where their money comes from. But really, pre-crime?!

Bill Barr Formally Announces Orwellian Pre-Crime Program (Webb)

Perhaps the most jarring aspect of the memorandum is Barr’s frank admission that many of the “early engagement” tactics that the new program would utilize were “born of the posture we adopted with respect to terrorist threats.” In other words, the foundation for many of the policies utilized following the post-9/11 “war on terror” are also the foundation for the “early engagement” tactics that Barr seeks to use to identify potential criminals as part of this new policy. Though those “war on terror” policies have largely targeted individuals abroad, Barr’s memorandum makes it clear that some of those same controversial tactics will soon be used domestically.

Barr’s memorandum also alludes to current practices by the FBI and DOJ that will shape the new plan. Though more specifics of the new policy will be provided in the forthcoming notice, Barr notes that “newly developed tactics” used by the Joint Terrorist Task Forces “include the use of clinical psychologists, threat assessment professionals, intervention teams and community groups” to detect risk and suggests that the new “early engagement program” will work along similar lines. Barr also alludes to this “community” approach in a separate instance, when he writes that “when the public ‘says something’ to alert us to a potential threat, we must do something.”

Talking about pre-crime:

Read more …

There’s horse trading going on here. The countless armed militia in the region are a real danger, because all parties involved have supported at least some of them, and perhaps still do. But at some point the real armies may find themselves facing each other. Not a good idea.

Russia Calls Increase In US Troops In Syrian Oil Fields ‘Banditry’ (Hill)

The Russian government on Saturday criticized the U.S. for bolstering military resources in eastern Syria, calling the move an “act of international state banditry,” Rueters reports. The increased military presence in the area comes after U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that Washington would send more troops and vehicles into the area to secure the local oil fields. The increased protection would reportedly ensure that fields were not overtaken by Islamic State (ISIS) insurgents.

Reuters reports that in a statement released by Russia, the country claimed that the U.S. had no international legal jurisdiction to increase military presence around the oil fields. The statement went on to say that there was no real security threat in the area. “Therefore Washington’s current actions – capturing and maintaining military control over oil fields in eastern Syria – is, simply put, international state banditry,” the statement reads. The document went on to state that U.S. troops are “protecting oil smugglers that make more than $30 million a month,” Rueters reports.

Read more …

“We want to keep the oil” is a dead in the water slogan.

Russian FM Lavrov Warns US Against Undermining Syria’s Sovereignty (RT)

Steps that undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian state must be avoided, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as the two talked on the phone on Saturday, the foreign ministry said. Earlier this week, American troops were sent to Syria’s northeastern province of Deir ez-Zor with the claimed task of protecting the local oilfields from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists. Moscow decried the move as a violation of international law and reminded that all natural resources in Syria belong to Damascus. Lavrov and Pompeo also discussed separate issues around relations between Moscow and Washington during the conversation initiated by the US side, the ministry added.

Read more …

“AG Shokin immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these ‘stars’ between 50 and 150 thousand dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the Ukrainian tax code; it can’t be recognised as legitimate expenditure. At that time Biden the father entered the fray.”

The Plundering of Ukraine by Corrupt American Democrats (Shamir)

Oleg, you followed Biden story from its very inception. Biden is not the only Dem politician involved in the Ukrainian corruption schemes, is he? Indeed, John Kerry, the Secretary of State in Obama’s administration, was his partner-in-crime. But Joe Biden was number one. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemes. He authorised transfer of three billion dollars of the US taxpayers’ money to the post-coup government of the Ukraine; the money was stolen, and Biden took a big share of the spoils. It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian. And it is a story of Kiev regime and its dependence on the US and IMF.

The Ukraine has a few midsize deposits of natural gas, sufficient for domestic household consumption. The cost of its production was quite low; and the Ukrainians got used to pay pennies for their gas. Actually, it was so cheap to produce that the Ukraine could provide all its households with free gas for heating and cooking, just like Libya did. Despite low consumer price, the gas companies (like Burisma) had very high profits and very little expenditure. After the 2014 coup, IMF demanded to raise the price of gas for the domestic consumer to European levels, and the new president Petro Poroshenko obliged them. The prices went sky-high. The Ukrainians were forced to pay many times more for their cooking and heating; and huge profits went to coffers of the gas companies.

Instead of raising taxes or lowering prices, President Poroshenko demanded the gas companies to pay him or subsidise his projects. He said that he arranged the price hike; it means he should be considered a partner. Burisma Gas company had to pay extortion money to the president Poroshenko. Eventually its founder and owner Mr Nicolai Zlochevsky decided to invite some important Westerners into the company’s board of directors hoping it would moderate Poroshenko’s appetites. He had brought in Biden’s son Hunter, John Kerry, Polish ex-President Kwasniewski; but it didn’t help him.

Poroshenko became furious that the fattened calf may escape him, and asked the Attorney General Shokin to investigate Burisma trusting some irregularities would emerge. AG Shokin immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these ‘stars’ between 50 and 150 thousand dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the Ukrainian tax code; it can’t be recognised as legitimate expenditure. At that time Biden the father entered the fray.

Read more …

Not going to happen, but good idea.

Bundestag MPs Demand That US Troops Leave Germany (RT)

German MPs have demanded that the government expel US forces stationed in Germany. MPs argue that their presence only serves the purposes of the US illegal wars in the Middle East and stokes tensions with Moscow. Lawmakers from the opposition Left Party have tabled a motion calling on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to immediately stop financing the American military presence in the country and to annul a 1990 treaty allowing US soldiers to be deployed on German soil in the first instance. “More than 35,000 US soldiers are stationed in Germany, more than in any other European land,” the document, published on the Bundestag’s website, points out, adding that American military bases are used to further Washington’s “policy of war in the Middle East.”

The lawmakers particularly expressed their outrage over the fact that the German bases are used “in the continuing illegal practice of targeted US assassinations in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” apparently referring to the American use of strike drones. The document also states that the continued presence of American forces on German soil leads to nothing but escalation of an already tense situation with regard to relations with Russia. The MPs also denounced any deployment of American troops to bases in Poland and other Central and Eastern European states, saying that such actions cannot be interpreted as anything but “war preparations.” They also drew attention to the fact that the US troops are being transferred through the territory of the former East Germany, thus violating the spirit of the 1990 ‘2+4’ agreement that facilitated Germany’s reunification ..

Read more …

Name the year, always.

European Leaders Agree Brexit Extension To 31 January (BBC)

EU leaders have agreed in principle to extend Brexit until 31 January 2020 – meaning the UK will not leave as planned on Thursday. EU Council President Donald Tusk said it was a “flextension” – meaning the UK could leave before the deadline if a deal was approved by Parliament. It comes as MPs prepare to vote on proposals by Boris Johnson for an early general election on 12 December. The SNP and Lib Dems have also proposed an election on 9 December. The government has not ruled out getting behind that proposed date, if it fails to get its preferred date through the Commons later.

Read more …

Huw van Steenis, senior adviser to the CEO of UBS, and formerly senior adviser to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, asks : “..are negative rates starting to do more harm than good..?” He’s a blind man. What good?

Three Things I Learned In Washington (van Steenis)

As the world’s central banks and economic policymakers convened in Washington over the weekend for the annual meetings of the IMF, IIF and World Bank, there was a distinct lack of conviction in the air. “Globally synchronised slowdown”, trade wars, political uncertainty and persistent ultralow interest rates have ground down most investors and policymakers’ belief in the prevailing economic or market narratives. So the most interesting conversations were about transitions and tail risks. What are the long term implications of negative rates? How disruptive is digital money? And what does the greening of the financial system mean in practice? Central banks are wrestling with a major challenge: are negative rates starting to do more harm than good?

Professor Charles Goodhart of the LSE and I fear we may have already have this “reversal rate” in the Eurozone. Like steroids, unconventional policy, such as negative rates, can be highly effective in limited dosages but long term usage starts to weaken the skeletal system. Given that negative rates have been in place for over a quarter of the time that the euro has existed, policymakers are starting to worry about the negative consequences — like impaired banking systems and asset bubbles. I sensed an inflection in the level of concern from two distinct groups: Anglo-Saxon policy makers who simply never want to open the Pandora’s box of negative rates, and European policy makers growing increasingly concerned about the toolkit to break out of the “Japanification” of the eurozone.

What’s more, the penny is dropping that negative rates are hampering the ability of many eurozone banks, aside from the market leaders, to invest confidently in digital technology to serve clients better and fend off the risks from disruptive new entrants. I came away feeling the bar is now incredibly high for any further negative rate cuts. Second, technology is rapidly changing the way we pay for things. Investors know this well from the huge growth in value of Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and Amex, or new firms like Stripe and Ant Financial. Little wonder that payments has become the battleground between Big Tech, existing payments firms and banks. The size of the prize can be huge. Alipay and WeChatPay represent 90% of mobile payments in China.

Read more …


John Conyers -RIP- on WikiLeaks in 2010 (back when Joe Biden was declaring Assange a “high-tech terrorist”)







Home Forums The Last Debt Rattle?

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
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  • #50879

    Cimabue Christ mocked c1280 (Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters. Painting discovered in an old woman’s kitchen in Sept, sold for $28 million this wee
    [See the full post at: The Last Debt Rattle?]


    The news …. the truth …. opinions ….
    I’m a sucker and keep coming back for more TAE. It must be in my genes.


    I think your business (TAE) is a bit like small scale organic farming from a financial perspective – almost impossible to make a living that matches first world realities. Virtually all of the small scale organic farmers in our area need off farm employment to survive. Natural health providers have also been hit hugely this year due to new google algorithms putting natural health info and supplements way down in the search results (hits down by 90 percent in a matter of months). The bad guys/gals are way ahead and the public in general does not seem to be aware.



    Thank you for all your hard work. The Automatic Earth has been automatic reading for me for years. I’ve especially enjoyed the daily art piece and your steady broadcasting of truth tellers like Yanis Varofakis, Julian Assange, and so many others.
    I expect that you will continue your positive efforts in one form or another. Please take your time reassessing and preparing for the next phase; change is easier in a quiet place. Many of us will be glad to hear from you when you return.


    Chris M

    “Reaction on witter”

    Good one. 😏


    Sorry to hear the Debt Rattle is not working out. Checking in is a daily ceremony. Struggling financially myself so have’nt been donating, sold some artwork and donated all the money (not much) to you Greece project though. Will start donating but for above reasons my donations will not make much difference. Although I feel sad about the news I also look forward to see what comes out of your change of focus. Keep up the good work Raül!


    I should have added that the similarity comes from the fact that the big folks make the rules in pretty much every sphere now and these rules are intended to make it impossible for the small folks.


    Thank you for all these years of providing me with real news. I appreciate your clear mindedness in presenting us with info on Julian Assange, Greece, the the steps down that our dysfunctional global economy is taking. I’ll be ready to read what you write after you get your focus clear on it. These are the death throes of globalism. See you on the other side of your choice of focus.

    For now I’ll just search on line for Pepe Escobar’s news in the middle east, and for the sorrow of Julian Assange. I’ve appreciated your clear call for proof in Russiagate, and your analysis of DNC and Trump-mania.

    Please look for my donation for you to continue your good work.


    I’m not leaving guys, don’t worry. Do have to be able to manage this job financially though, which is a full time one no matter how you look at it. I should have called all this two years or so ago perhaps, but I’m not good at asking people for money, I shut down, except when it’s for Greece, for others.

    Carol, I like your organic farmers analogy, because I think that the Debt Rattles were getting pretty bland foodwise, and maybe not so organic either anymore. Better to grow some new crops, and fresh ones.

    But by the same token I don’t think the Debt Rattle didn’t work out, it just couldn’t do that forever; you need to stay on top of what goes on with a format, and change it when it doesn’t feel right anymore.

    I already look ahead to tomorrow morning when I don’t HAVE to read or do things, but I just CAN. Very liberating.

    Also, when I see people here commenting on my support for Assange and others, I’m thinking: but those news outlets in the Debt Rattle all the time DON’T do that. Maybe that’s a bit of the essence of why I started to feel the format became a burden.

    And yes, Carol, what happens in farming also happens in news and opinion: whatever’s small or not obeying the rules tends to be cut out and down. But organic farmers keep on growing what they like, and I will keep on writing what I think must be said.


    Thank you for all the art of the day and choice of articles that you provided us with.
    Good luck in your new adventure, what ever that is. Change is good for the soul sometimes.


    Hello Raúl,

    First, many, many thanks for your unremitting efforts over the years. To assemble and circulate all of this material on a daily basis was, is and remains a mammoth undertaking! I’m not surprised that you need a break and a new direction.

    I disagree with your idea that the Debt Rattles were becoming bland. Not at all. Like so many others I despair as I watch The System destroy the biosphere for profit. The sheer amount of skullduggery that goes on in the world is mind-boggling, and many articles you have drawn to our attention have been illuminating and useful. I’d rather know the truth, however painful, than to live in a dream.

    You and Nicole came to Australia some years ago — was it 2015, or earlier? — and she gave a standing-room-only presentation in a large lecture theatre at the Australian National University. I was in the middle of the audience, and at least I can say that I saw you from a distance!

    I’d help out financially if I could but my resources are limited. I have donated only a little to help Greece and refugees; wish I could do more. People like Bill gates could do so much if they would only put their minds to it. Sad. To those that have, it shall be given; from those that have not, it shall be taken away.

    All the best for your (and our) future.

    V. Arnold

    As Lone Watie says in the movie, The Outlaw Josie Wales, “Endeavor to persevere.”
    Maybe more important today than ever before…give ’em hell Ilargi…
    It must not be forgot; we’re few and dwindling in a world gone mad.



    I approve heartily.

    I very much look forward to seeing more of your writing



    John Day

    The Saker (and others) have a more complete version of what the Russian Defense Minister actually said, which is that the US military has been running that oil out of Syria for a long time, with US protection of the tanker trucks. Photographic evidence is included, too.

    Russian Defense Ministry publishes evidence of US oil smuggling from Syria

    John Day

    I am greatly appreciative of your tutelage since at least very early 2008, maybe a little earlier, but I can’t be certain. AS I have said, I discovered the r=early Zero Hedge from TAE. It was much more modest then. Nobody wonders “who Tyler Durden is” anymore.
    You have been defunded as a death blow to your voice. The warfare has become so overt, yet not acknowledged as such in the MSM.
    I don’t know where we are heading, or how fast, and you, and I and all of us have hands in co-creating where we go.
    I am fortunate to have a job caring for poor people, a historical anomaly, which won’t last too long, I think.
    I have been looking to prepare a lifeboat for a long time. Here is a post about Saturday before last, with nice pictures of planting the avocado orchard in the early light, after making preparations over the previous half year. http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/10/guacamole-fans-saturday-morning-at-600.html
    I consider you a brother-in-arms. I don’t say that for effect. I will respond to any communication from you.


    “the US military has been running that oil out of Syria for a long time, with US protection of the tanker trucks. Photographic evidence is included, too.”


    I don’t think the elites care that we know what they are doing.
    I feel sorry for the youth losing their lives for a bunch of lies.

    “we’re few and dwindling in a world gone mad.”

    How can bloggers improve their impact?

    V. Arnold

    How can bloggers improve their impact?

    I’m not sure that is any longer possible.
    The concerted propaganda war against the truth has been successful; so much so, that those in power no longer care that their game is exposed for all to see.
    Who is going to stop “them” from doing whatever they please? No matter how vile, violent, and despicable against anyone calling them out.
    Entertainment has become so pervasive and carefully crafted, I believe most people do not realize they’re being distracked from experiencing reality.
    Edward Bernays laid the groundwork for today a century ago…
    TAE (Ilargi) is most assuredly a hedge against this scourge and an excellent gathering place for those of us who will not be shut up at any cost.
    Debt Rattle is a name, a symbol, and by any other title, is still a place for the truth and non-censored writtings and comments…

    V. Arnold

    …make that writings… 🙁
    Most importantly, as an addendum to the above; we’ve become a nation of men; no longer a nation of laws.
    Possibly nothing is more important or devestating, than that…


    The Debt Rattle is a daily ritual for me to start the day and I will miss it, as this is an island of sanity in the madness of the media world. I do look forward to what comes next.


    I don’t post many comments, but I have been reading the Debt Rattle almost from the beginning. I would miss it daily, but I can understand the time commitment it takes to upload this every day. I have also enjoyed all the many paintings at the start of each Debt Rattle. Thank you.


    I too will be sad to see this site go. You have assured us that it won’t be gone completely! I understand your need for a reduction in your workload and particularly when you do not get the remuneration you should. Hope my contribution helps.

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