Jun 102024

Henri Matisse The goldfish 1912


Right-Wing Tsunami In European Parliament Vote (ZH)
Von der Leyen Vows To Lead EU Down ‘Pro-Ukraine’ Path (RT)
Evil Can Destroy the World (Paul Craig Roberts)
Scholz Is ‘Rotten Liverwurst’ – Medvedev (RT)
Washington ‘Lunatics’ Seek Regime Change In Russia – Vivek Ramaswamy (RT)
Western War Hawks Want Ukraine’s Resources – Orban (RT)
Western Hegemony Is Over – Zakharova (RT)
‘Tensions Lurk’ Behind Biden-Macron Toasts & Backslapping (Sp.)
NATO ‘Crossed Red Line’ – Austria (RT)
Jim Jordan Reacts To Report Of Juror Misconduct in Trump Trial (Sellers)
The Prince of Propaganda (RT)
Politico Nukes ‘Biden Business Dealings’ Lie (ZH)
The Beginning of Accountability For The Covid “Vaccine”? (Paul Craig Roberts)





Dana White



Trump: Why?



Tucker Massie Trump



Bannon McCabe






Kanekoa Biden



Nixon CIA





A Right-Wing Tsunami, but the center wins. That’s how Brussels was set up. Sure, Macron is gone: “day-one of the post-Macron era.” But Von der Leyen is not. And Macron has years left in his presidency, so we’ll hear from him.

Right-Wing Tsunami In European Parliament Vote (ZH)

Following a historic loss to Marine Le Pen’s right-wing party in European elections on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said he is dissolving the French parliament.Macron said France will hold new elections on June 30 and July 7, a high-stakes maneuver that the WSJ said “stunned” the nation after projections based on early ballot counts came in for Sunday’s elections for the European Parliament. The projections showed National Rally garnering around 31% of the vote, twice the support for Macron’s Renew Party. “This is a serious, weighty decision, but above all it’s an act of trust,” Macron said. “Confidence in you, confidence in the ability of the French people to make the right choice for themselves and for future generations.” National Rally leader Jordan Bardella said Sunday’s results marked an “unprecedented rout for the powers that be,” adding that it was “day-one of the post-Macron era.”

Macron’s decision to call parliamentary elections opens the door for his party, which is deeply unpopular at the moment, to shed even more seats to rival parties in France’s National Assembly, the country’s lower house of Parliament. If that occurs, Macron could be forced to appoint a prime minister from another party, such as the center-right Les Républicains, in a power-sharing arrangement known in France as a “cohabitation.” “A dissolution means a cohabitation,” said Alain Duhamel, a prominent political analyst. The shocking news in France comes after Europe’s right wing parties put on a show of strength in this weekend’s EU elections, which also reinforced German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s position lagging two rival parties. Sunday’s results still appeared to leave the mainstream pro-EU parties with a lock on power in Brussels, if only for the time being.

The center-right EU political grouping that now leads the bloc looked set to win the most seats in the European Parliament, boosting European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s hopes of keeping her job for a second term. She has forged a close working relationship with the Biden administration. Still, France’s far-right opposition party National Rally looked set to be among the pan-European election’s biggest winners. Marine Le Pen’s party is on target to become the largest single party in the European Parliament. Projections based on early ballot counts on Sunday evening suggested National Rally had gained roughly 31% of the vote, twice the support for Macron’s Renew Party. After the French results, Macron announced he was dissolving parliament to call fresh elections. His party already lacked a majority in the National Assembly. The first round of the elections will take place June 30, followed by a second on July 7, Macron said.

As reported earlier, the Social Democratic Party of German chancellor Scholz also apparently faced a drubbing. According to national exit polls, it was running third behind the far-right Alternative for Germany and the clear winner, Germany’s opposition center-right alliance. The elections, held from Thursday through Sunday, were for the 720 members of the European Parliament. Up to 370 million voters were eligible according to EU figures, although turnout in the elections is usually modest. While the European Parliament’s main powers are to approve or amend EU rules, laws and trade deals, the twice-decade vote offers a potent indicator of Europe’s political mood. The legislature also gets to approve the EU’s new leadership team. As the WSJ notes, “Sunday’s results point to trouble for the EU leadership’s ability to pursue its environmental goals and indicate that pressure will mount to tighten migration rules under right-wing pressure. The vote is also likely to give a greater voice—at least within the parliament—to nationalist and left-wing critics of EU support for Ukraine.”

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“..she intends to “continue on this path with those who are pro-European, pro-Ukraine, pro-rule of law.” And pro US/”Joe Biden”.

Von der Leyen Vows To Lead EU Down ‘Pro-Ukraine’ Path (RT)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has promised to “form a bastion against extremes from the left and from the right” in the EU, as her centrist faction retained the top spot in the European Parliament, despite right-wing parties humiliating the ruling coalitions in both France and Germany. Von der Leyen’s European People’s Party (EPP) has won some 26% of seats in the the EU’s legislative body, according to the provisional results on Sunday. She noted that centrist parties are holding strong in Europe, but conceded that “extremes on the left and on the right have gained support.” “We will stop them,” Von der Leyen told her supporters in Brussels on Sunday night, vowing to “build a bastion against the extremes from the left and from the right.”

Von der Leyen, who seeks a second term as the European Commission President, declared that her goal is to “build a broad majority for a strong Europe“ and that she intends to “continue on this path with those who are pro-European, pro-Ukraine, pro-rule of law.” The surge in support for right-wing parties was fueled by the voters’ real concerns staying unheard, according to Vice-President of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), Assita Kanko. “When the true aspirations of citizens are ignored… it gives, unfortunately, more space to extreme movements. That’s why we need to listen to the citizens,” Kanko stated in Brussels on Sunday. ECR, which is expected to win some 71 seats out of 720, has advocated for a focus on security, migration control and European values.

European voters humiliated the governing coalitions in two of the bloc’s largest economies, giving increased support to anti-war parties focused on domestic agendas. In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s centrist party was dealt a severe blow when it came up in third place behind its conservative opposition, according to the forecasts. The main opposition group Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU) are expected to with with some 30% of the votes, while Alternative for Germany (AfD) is to get second with around 16%, pushing Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) down to 14%. Meanwhile in France, the right-wing National Rally (RN) party dominated President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party in the polls to such an extent that he dissolved the country’s National Assembly and called for a fresh snap election.

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“So far 33 State Department officials have resigned, leaving their comfortable high-paying jobs because they cannot stomach the immorality of being a US State Department employee.”

Evil Can Destroy the World (Paul Craig Roberts)

This map series shows the progressive theft of Palestine by Zionist Israel since 1947, with the complicity of Washington and Europe. Where did all the Palestinians who lived in the green areas of Palestine, almost the entirety of Palestine, in 1947 go? They were herded into refuge camps in Jordan and Lebanon. The UN (second map from the left) planned to give Israel half of Palestine, although no one explained the UN’s ability to give away a people’s country. The UN’s generous redistribution of Palestine to Israel did not satisfy Israel who took the rest. Zionist Israel’s theft of Palestine and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their own country was covered up each year along the way by the West pretending to be in favor of a “two state solution.” Of course, such a solution never materialized decade after decade as Israel claimed the entire territory. The “two state solution” let the West pretend it was doing the right thing while Israel stole the country and exiled the people, the remnants of which were confined to the Gaza ghetto, currently under destruction by Israel using American weapons and money.

America has been unable to do anything about this genocide of a country and a people because US presidents and members of the House and Senate are elected with the aid of Israeli campaign contributions. The billions of dollars that US taxpayers are forced to hand over to Israel every year come back to purchase our elections. Consequently, Washington answers to the Israel Lobby, not to the American people. We see this clearly in the invitation of the US Congress to Netanyahu who is under indictments both within Israel and by the International Criminal Court. Washington is determined to show that Netanyahu’s criminal indictments notwithstanding, Netanyahu is under the protection of the United States. In contrast, we are supposed to write Trump off as a gangster based on concocted indictments resting on nothing but opinions of prosecutors determined to keep Trump from the White House.

Israel also uses its American tribute to purchase pastors of evangelical churches who indoctrinate their congregations that it is God’s will for America to support Israel and for Israel to reclaim their home of 2,000 or more years ago, from which God dispelled a sinful Jewish population. Some of the evangelical churches are so captured that they are known as “Christian Zionists.” What the “great moral West” doesn’t understand is that by supporting and defending Israel’s genocidal policy toward Palestinians, the “great moral West” has given its approval to genocide. So how is the West moral? Even Putin congratulates Israel for its sins and crimes. Perhaps Putin does this because the Holocaust story is a way for Putin to emphasize that Russia is fighting nazis in Ukraine. Nevertheless, Putin’s support for Israel is extraordinary as it is Israel that is pressuring its American lapdog to attack Iran, which would be a catastrophe for Russia and China. Without Iran the efforts of Russia and China to organize Asia into a coherent trading bloc independent of the dollar is impossible. Instead CIA jihadists would be flowing into the Russian Federation, Central Asia and China.

America’s disgrace from supporting genocide is diminishing the ranks of qualified personnel in the US Department of State. Two more officials have resigned rather than be associated with Washington’s complicity in the mass murder of Palestinians. Alexander Smith prepared a report for the US Agency for International Development on the extraordinary high rate of maternal and child mortality among Palestinians suffering the Israeli attack. He was quickly fired before he could deliver the report. He said: “I cannot do my job in an environment in which specific people cannot be acknowledged as fully human, or where gender and human rights principles apply to some, but not to others, depending on their race.” Another State Department official, Stacy Gilbert resigned. She said she could no longer accept the State Department lies that Israel was not deliberately obstructing the flow of food or other aid into Gaza. So far 33 State Department officials have resigned, leaving their comfortable high-paying jobs because they cannot stomach the immorality of being a US State Department employee.

This is hopeful. It indicates that some Americans employed by Washington still have a moral conscience and will not serve Washington at the expense of their conscience. The total evil that the Biden regime represents has the support of a large minority of American voters. That Americans will vote for evil shows how far down the drain America has gone. The question automatically arises: what is the United States other than a threat to life on earth, a threat to all civilization, to all known morality? How do we know that Satan doesn’t hold Washington in his hand?We are faced with the possible outbreak of nuclear war, a death sentence for life on earth, and there is not a single Western leader trying to resolve the crisis. Zelensky has passed a law prohibiting negotiations with Russia to end the conflict. Washington’s response to Russia’s direct warnings is to turn the warnings into propaganda against Russia. As Putin says, we will see what happens.

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“So where does this strength come from, sausage maker?”

Scholz Is ‘Rotten Liverwurst’ – Medvedev (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz must ask for forgiveness from Ukrainians for playing a role in plunging their country into misery and helping to revive Nazi ideology, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said. Writing on Telegram on Saturday, Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia, lashed out at Scholz, who argued that President Vladimir Putin “must finally realize” that “Ukraine is strong and will not be forced to its knees or forced to surrender.” He went on to say that “there can only be a just peace for Ukraine,” adding that “working for peace does not mean simply raising the white flag,” while reiterating Berlin’s commitment to supporting Kiev. In response, Medvedev called Scholz “a rotten liverwurst,” who he said “unexpectedly became chatty and talked outright drivel.”

The former president claimed that Ukraine has become “a kind of dominion directly controlled by the United States and NATO countries,” adding that Kiev is fully on the Western payroll and “is receiving all kinds of the most lethal weapons, despite the protests of its own people.” “So where does this strength come from, sausage maker? From exuberant corruption which is completely out of control? From the wholesale theft of this aid by the Zelensky clique? Or from a dying people, half of whom live in Russia and Europe?” Medvedev asked. Scholz should “get down on his knees and repent before the Ukrainians” for lying to them that they could achieve victory against Russia, and for “dooming them to the slaughter while sacrificing the well-being of the Germans,” according to the former president.

The German chancellor should also take responsibility “for the revival of Nazism” in Ukraine, his own “indescribable mediocrity of management,” and the loss of public confidence in his Social Democratic Party, which makes his predecessors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt “turn over in their graves many times over,” Medvedev said. The former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andrey Melnik, once called Scholz ‘offended liverwurst’. In 2022, the envoy said the chancellor was behaving “not very statesmanlike” after he refused to visit Kiev following Ukraine’s criticism of President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Melnik was sacked following the remarks.

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“Victoria Nuland may not be in the building anymore, but that’s still the same spirit that pervades the State Department and beyond..”

“This road does not end in a place that advances American interests..”

Washington ‘Lunatics’ Seek Regime Change In Russia – Vivek Ramaswamy (RT)

The US involvement in the conflict between Moscow and Kiev is not about “defending Ukraine,” but rather an attempt to force regime change in Russia, former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has claimed. Ramaswamy warned that US President Joe Biden and the “bipartisan warmonger caucus” are preparing for a war with Moscow to achieve their ultimate goal. “These lunatics are starting to sound like they want full-on offense on Russia. It’s lunacy,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday, while sharing his interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, in which they discussed US involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Ramaswamy agreed with Ingraham’s remarks that the White House is “getting ready for a war with Russia,” with an “offensive push inside Russia to defeat [Russian President] Putin” and overthrow the government, warning that Washington should beware of the consequences of its actions.

“Victoria Nuland may not be in the building anymore, but that’s still the same spirit that pervades the State Department and beyond,” the politician said, referring to the recently retired under secretary of state for political affairs, who was a key figure behind the Ukraine crisis which started with the Maidan coup ten years ago. She has been an ardent proponent of supporting Ukraine through military means, calling for targeting Russian territory with NATO weapons. He argued that regime change has been Washington’s main focus all along and is “the reason they never stated the war aim in Ukraine.” “There was not a war goal that has been articulated, in part, because it allows the people who pull the strings to count for regime change as the ultimate goal they are planning for,” Ramaswamy explained.

“You have to be careful what you wish for if you are going to root for regime change in Russia,” he warned, pointing out that the US has “played this game before” and essentially failed. “This road does not end in a place that advances American interests,” the former GOP candidate continued, adding that securing a “reasonable deal” to resolve the conflict is the right way to go. Last week, Washington and several allies granted permission to Kiev to use Western-supplied weapon systems to strike deeper inside Russian territory, which Moscow regards as a significant escalation that could spark an “asymmetric” response. While Biden insists that it is “unlikely” that the move will escalate Western involvement in the conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that it could lead to “very serious problems,” suggesting that Moscow could even supply “similar weapons” to regions of the world where they will be used against sensitive sites of these Western countries.

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And Russia’s…

Western War Hawks Want Ukraine’s Resources – Orban (RT)

Western countries want Kiev to achieve victory in the conflict with Russia, because it would give them the opportunity to “acquire and divide” Ukraine’s wealth, according to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. In an interview with Hir TV on Saturday, Orban contemplated the reasons behind NATO’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict, which has grown more pronounced in recent months with numerous aid packages, weapons deliveries, and talk of Western troops on the ground in the battle zone. According to him, the bloc’s members see Ukraine as a potentially huge source of revenue, which they will be able to control once Russian forces are driven out. “The fact is that the Western warmongering leaders want to defeat Russia in this war, and the reason is rather simple – it is money.

Consider Ukraine’s capabilities: It is a rich country that is hugely indebted… Ukraine’s wealth can be acquired and divided, the agricultural land, the economic opportunities, and who knows what else,” Orban stated, noting that the process of gaining influence over Kiev has already begun, with talk of Western loans for its military effort and reconstruction. Orban noted that the West viewed Russia in a similar light after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, when then-President Boris Yeltsin came to power.“They wish to go back to the 90s, when not only Ukraine, but also Russia was available, those resources, wealth, money… Many Americans and Europeans remember the 90s as a period of great economic opportunities, when they were welcomed without any obstacles into the Russian economy, and started to transform and exploit it,” he said, adding, however, that eventually the Russians “decided it was not such a brilliant idea” and took their economy back.

According to Orban, the Ukraine conflict itself has become a major source of revenue, which is why it is difficult to stop at this point. “When such a war starts, they see the opportunity, they ask – what can we get out of this? Then come the arms suppliers, the creditors, the speculators, and they look for a chance to enrich themselves and they push the war machine forward.” Orban stressed that Hungary has been opposed to Western involvement in the conflict from the start, calling Brussels and Washington “the sources” of the “war madness.” He also claimed that the conflict could be ended within 24 hours if pro-peace forces come to power in the US and EU, which he hopes will happen in the upcoming EU Parliament elections and the US presidential election later this year.

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“..a truly polycentric world order..”

Western Hegemony Is Over – Zakharova (RT)

The concepts of hegemony and global dominance, which the Collective West clings to, have no place in the multipolar world order – which is already becoming a reality, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday. Speaking at a panel discussion on new norms of international relations at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Zakharova slammed Western governments for resisting the structural changes which have already started with regard to the self-organization of nations and their interactions with other states. “We are talking about polycentrism, a departure from previous norms, and we see the desperate resistance of the Collective West… They see the norm differently – as their own dominance, as a world order based on one rule – that they must dominate as before, and everyone must do only what the dominant allows them to do,” she stated, adding that the drive for dominance has only ever “led humanity to monstrous tragedies,” including colonialism and Nazism.

“Today it is hegemonism, an obsession with domination, a painful pseudo-messianic idea of [the West’s] global mission… But neither people nor states can declare themselves as missionaries, only history can prove whether their mission was good or based on unhealthy ideas,” Zakharova said. She added that the ideas of global dominance, of the exceptionalism of some nations amid the destruction of ethnic and cultural identities of others have repeatedly been expressed by Western leaders. She went on to say that these ideas are not shared by the global majority, which has already embraced the concept of multipolarity. “We should not forget, they are a minority – the Collective West… their worldview is shared by no one except for them,” she said, citing memorandums adopted by multinational blocs as the Russian-led BRICS group, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, African Union, and others, in which member states commit to forming a multipolar world order.

“The SCO… covers 3 billion people – half of humanity… BRICS covers over 30% of the Earth’s land mass, 45% of the world population – some 3.5 billion people, and 33% of global GDP… 3% more than the GDP of the G7,” she stated.= Zakharova noted that even in the West, some analysts claim that “the US has not been a world hegemon for a long time,” while “its actions in the international arena have led to the destabilization of world politics.” However, until there are significant changes in policy and ideology, Russia and its global allies have “a long struggle ahead” to form a truly polycentric world order, she said. “While our cause is not simple, it is worthy and noble. And we will walk this path as a global majority. We don’t call it a mission, though, we call it our goal and objective.”

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“..Macron is like a runaway train..”

‘Tensions Lurk’ Behind Biden-Macron Toasts & Backslapping (Sp.)

No amount of toasts and backslapping between French President Emmanuel Macron and his visiting US counterpart Joe Biden can conceal the simmering underlying tensions between the two over a host of issues, The New York Times acknowledged. Biden is being feted by Macron against the backdrop of ceremonies marking the anniversary of the D-Day landing of Allied troops 80 years ago. The commemoration has drawn controversy for not including officials from the Russian Federation. Their positions regarding the West’s ongoing proxy conflict in Ukraine and Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza have been testing the relationship between Paris and Washington, the outlet noted. Frictions have been particularly driven by the increasingly warmongering Macron’s thirst for asserting his country’s independence from the US.

On the quiet, US officials are rolling their eyes “in exasperation” with regard to their French counterparts, the outlet claimed. It also noted that the French side is “frustrated” at the Biden administration’s “overbearing approach to trans-Atlantic leadership.” No French president in recent history has clamored for Europe’s “strategic autonomy” as insistently as Macron, the publication underscored. Suffice it to recall the French president’s remarks in April, when he made the case for a beefed-up European defense policy. Typically scaremongering by reiterating allegations of the “Russia threat,” Macron urged against “delegating our defense to the US,” saying that the “rules of the game have changed.” Accusing Washington along with Beijing of unfair competition with subsidies for their economies, he said of the US that, “we are not a priority for them.” Back in 2022, Macron harangued US lawmakers over Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) subsidies, claiming they posed a threat to French businesses.

Europe must show that “it’s never going to be a vassal for the United States” when it “speaks to other regions of the world,” reiterated Macron in April, in a speech tailored to make an impression ahead of the European elections on June 6-9. Surveys indicated that Macron’s Renaissance party would have far fewer seats in the new European Parliament, losing them to Marine Le Pen’s right-wing National Rally (Rassemblement National) party. While fanning the flames of NATO’s proxy conflict in Ukraine is certainly something that both the US and France are on the same page about, even there Macron is elbowing his way forward as Europe’s foremost anti-Russia hawk. In February, Macron left his US and European allies reeling after he refused to rule out the possibility of sending NATO troops to Ukraine.

Days later, Biden in his State of the Union address responded by saying there were “no American soldiers at war in Ukraine,” and “I am determined to keep it that way.” Although, of course, NATO has long had “boots on the ground” in Ukraine in a plethora of capacities. But Macron is like a runaway train, with statements about sending Mirage 2000 warplanes to Ukraine, and telling journalists after his Paris meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky that complying with Kiev’s request to “train mobilized soldiers” was not an “escalation.” Regarding that training mission, Macron added that, “the broadest possible coalition to accede to Ukraine’s request would be finalized shortly.” However, no announcement of the dispatch of military instructors to Ukraine would be made while Biden was in France, to avoid provoking the US leader, sources were cited as saying.

In a swift reaction, NATO’s top military officer Admiral Rob Bauer said on Friday that the alliance must first have discussions regarding France’s proposal to send military trainers to Ukraine before any planning moves forward. As for Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza, France has been irked by the degree of American support for its ally amid the mounting death toll and humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in the Palestinian enclave. Paris believes that Washington failed to put enough pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the Israeli advance into Rafah, the NYT claimed. Plans for post-war Gaza’s governance, and US reluctance to recognize Palestinian statehood are also believed to be contentious issues between the two leaders. Not that France has recognized a Palestinian state either.

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“..as a militarily neutral state, it is not our place to judge.”

NATO ‘Crossed Red Line’ – Austria (RT)

Ukraine’s Western sponsors crossed a red line when they allowed Kiev to use their weapons to strike at targets in Russia, Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner said in an interview to Die Presse published on Saturday. Several NATO members have openly supported the use of Western-produced armaments for cross-border strikes against Russia in recent weeks, ostensibly in a limited manner. The West insists that it is still not a party to the conflict, and only supports Kiev’s efforts to stall Russia’s push into Kharkov Region, which Moscow launched to move the line of contact away from the border to prevent further Ukrainian attacks on Russian civilians. “A red line has been crossed,” Tanner said when asked about the US, France, and Germany granting permission to use their weapons in cross-border strikes.

When the interviewer asked how else Kiev could stall the Kharkov operation, the Austrian Defense Minister replied that “as a militarily neutral state, it is not our place to judge.” Tanner added that she is at least “pleased that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has clarified that NATO will not be sending troops to Ukraine.” In a press conference on Thursday, Stoltenberg said the US-led military bloc has no plans to deploy ground forces to Ukraine. Despite this, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday that he is almost ready to finalize an international coalition to officially send Western military “instructors” to train troops in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that Moscow has long been aware that Western military personnel are already fighting in Ukraine under the guise of “mercenaries” and “volunteers.”

Western-produced long-ranged armaments used by Kiev in cross-border strikes are also often controlled and serviced by these foreign troops, the Russian president said last month. And even if Ukrainians are pulling the trigger, the US and its allies are the ones providing Kiev intelligence on Russian targets, he added. Moscow has warned that Western-backed long-range attacks on Russian territory will amount to direct Western participation in the conflict, and that Russia reserves the right to respond in kind. “We can respond asymmetrically,” Putin said on Wednesday, suggesting that Moscow could supply similar weapons around the world, where they could be used against Western targets.

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“We’re trying to get legislation out to say that any special counsel who wasn’t approved by the Senate gets no funds,” Jordan said. “It‘s the way to get at this Jack Smith and the ridiculous things he’s done.”

“Florida Judge Aileen Cannon has similarly scheduled a June 21 hearing for Trump and his co-defendants in the Mar-a-Lago case to argue that Smith’s appointment was unlawful..”

Jim Jordan Reacts To Report Of Juror Misconduct in Trump Trial (Sellers)

During a visit to Monroe, N.C., to support conservative congressional candidate Mark Harris on Friday, House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, was surprised by a reporter’s question about fresh allegations from former President Donald Trump’s New York lawfare trial that could potentially result in a mistrial. Earlier in the day, Judge Juan Merchan wrote a letter to Trump’s attorneys and prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, notifying them of a Facebook comment that was discovered under a routine court post dated May 29, the day before a jury convicted Trump of 34 felonies. The commenter, identifying himself as a juror’s cousin by the name of Michael Anderson, appeared to offer some advance inside knowledge about the verdict. “My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted. Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!”

“Well, if that happened, that’s wrong,” Jordan responded when asked about the breaking news. “I have not heard that and I don’t know if it’s true, but you obviously aren’t supposed to be doing that, so we’ll have to see.“ In his letter, Merchan claimed he had just learned of the comment. “Today, the Court became aware of a comment that was posted on the Unified Court System’s public Facebook page and which I now bring to your attention,” the judge wrote. “The comment, now labeled as one week old, responded to a routine UCS notice, posted on May 29.” Merchan’s letter did not clarify whether the person who posted the comment was indeed related to a juror. The judge, a Biden donor, was widely criticized for his biased rulings throughout the trial and was even suspected of receiving bribes through his daughter, whose digital marketing firm drew millions of dollars from Democrat politicians—some of whom became involved directly in the case.

Merchan’s brief letter did not outline any sort of follow up steps, although it stands to reason that the court will investigate the matter and would declare a mistrial if, in fact, juror misconduct were established. The concern provides yet another avenue for appeal to Trump, whom many legal experts believe will ultimately see the case overturned, although the disruption to his campaign and political fallout from the conviction have yet to be determined. At the Friday night fundraiser in North Carolina, Jordan offered high praise for Trump, with whom he has formed a close bond, touting his tenacity in particular. “His attitude in light of everything they’ve done to him is just phenomenal,” Jordan told the audience. The charter chairman of the House Freedom Caucus recalled an anecdote from the night Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was raided by the FBI—an unprecedented abuse of power at the time—which took place shortly before the 2022 midterm election.

“There are certain times where you think, ‘This is not supposed to happen in this country,’” Jordan said of his reaction after seeing the news unfold on television with his wife. When he called Trump, however, the reaction was far from what one might have expected: “Jim, this is the best thing that’s ever happened to our party,” Trump reportedly told him. “My numbers are gonna go up.” During an exclusive interview with Headline USA, Jordan said House Republicans had received a response on Friday after sending a letter last week to Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg and his lead prosecutor, requesting that they testify before the House Weaponization Subcommittee. “They just sent us a letter back today saying they’re willing to talk to us, so we’ll see,” said Jordan. “But we may have to, you know, go with a subpoena to get him [Bragg] to testify as well.” The House is also investigating Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has publicly quarreled with Jordan and leveled ad hominem attacks against him for his oversight efforts.

Jordan noted, however, that as of this week, “Willis’s case is falling apart” following an appellate court’s decision to suspend the trial until October while evaluating whether she is ethically fit to continue as prosecutor. The House is also attempting to impose accountability on special counsel Jack Smith. However, a proposed bill likely faces steep odds of clearing the Democrat-run Senate, even though it ironically vests greater authority in the upper chamber to close a constitutional loophole exploited by Attorney General Merrick Garland. “We’re trying to get legislation out to say that any special counsel who wasn’t approved by the Senate gets no funds,” Jordan said. “It‘s the way to get at this Jack Smith and the ridiculous things he’s done.” Florida Judge Aileen Cannon has similarly scheduled a June 21 hearing for Trump and his co-defendants in the Mar-a-Lago case to argue that Smith’s appointment was unlawful since he was never confirmed by the Senate—a legal theory first floated by former Attorney General Ed Meese.

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“..15,000 articles in over 40 publications..”

The Prince of Propaganda (RT)

Will Stewart is one of today’s most productive British journalists. In fact, he might just be one of the most widely published hacks in the history of the trade. Each year, hundreds of his articles are published in major publications. However, most of his work is an attempt to incite fear and hatred. Russians are no strangers to bad press. Cold War narratives haven’t gone anywhere and even prior to the Ukraine conflict, Western journalists used any opportunity to publish sensationalist news about the country, regardless of whether it had any basis in reality. A 2019 study showed that only 2% of all items published about Russia in Western media were positive. Which left 98% as either negative, or deemed neutral. The most impressive fact, however, is that a single man was behind many of them – Stewart, who has apparently worked in Russia since 1993.

Stewart’s portfolio on MuckRack boasts almost 15,000 articles in over 40 publications. Most of them are about Russia and are written in the same style: a scandalous headline, a manipulative account of events, and a few quotes from controversial experts. Stewart is most often published in The Sun, The Daily Mail and The Mirror – British tabloids that typically pay equal attention to sensationalist themes. Stewart’s articles provoke various reactions in Russia. Some of his writing simply makes people laugh, while some of it annoys readers with its outright lies and insults. Many foreign correspondents have worked in Russia throughout the years and continue to do so. Their work is generally routine – they attend press conferences, arrange interviews, and collect information through their contacts and other sources.

Of course, foreign journalists are affected by the current political tensions. Notably in terms of status. For example, at President Vladimir Putin’s last press conference, a New York Times correspondent was humbled when the Russian leader said he would first answer a question from the Chinese Xinhua agency, and only then would talk to the American journalist. Stewart, however, is apparently above attending press events and interviews. Despite allegedly working in Russia for many years, he doesn’t appear at press conferences or on talk shows, and generally doesn’t like to show his face – you won’t find his photo anywhere on the internet. Some Western journalists, including those who’ve worked in Russia for decades, don’t know Stewart either, and admit that they “have never seen him face to face.”

Stewart also has no significant “paper trail,” apart from the company East2West, registered in 1996, in which he’s listed as both the secretary and the director. This entity owns the rights to the illustrations used in the mysterious journalist’s publications. However, most of them are screenshots from Russian news videos. Stewart, of course, is not a ghost and is a very real person – otherwise he wouldn’t have been accredited by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, he has no need to attend press events, or communicate with speakers and colleagues in Russia. It has long been known that Stewart is the manager of a group of stringers who gather provocative stories and pass them on to him to “package” the plots for Western media.This working model does not allow for in-depth story development, but it does allow for churning out news by the dozen. And with the use of simple techniques, they can be made shocking and click-worthy.

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Politico’s about the most pro-Biden outlet there is.

Politico Nukes ‘Biden Business Dealings’ Lie (ZH)

While President Joe Biden has repeatedly insisted he has nothing to do with his family’s business dealings – going so far as to say he’s never so much as discussed them with relatives, a new report from Politico completely destroys that lie. “I have never discussed, with my son or my brother or with anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses. Period,” said Biden. ” “And what I will do is the same thing we did in our administration. There will be an absolute wall between personal and private [business interests] and the government. There wasn’t any hint of scandal at all when we were there. And I’m going to propose the same kind of strict, strict rules. That’s why I never talked with my son or my brother or anyone else — even distant family — about their business interests. Period.”

As Politico notes, Joe Biden’s political journey, stretching back to his first Senate bid, has always been a family affair. His first campaign was significantly supported by his family, setting a precedent for how his personal and professional lives would intertwine. Throughout his career, Biden’s relatives have not only been a staple in his campaigns but have also engaged in business ventures that at times involved his political patrons, converting some business partners into campaign supporters. This longstanding blend of family, business, and politics has made it an absurd notion that Biden has distanced himself from the actions and ventures of his relatives, particularly his son Hunter Biden and his brother Jim Biden, whose foreign business dealings have been a continual source of controversy. Meanwhile…

What’s more, for years, Joe Biden shared key professional services with his family members: a bookkeeper with his son and a personal lawyer with his brother. This overlap extends beyond service providers to the very core of his advisory circle. Many of Biden’s closest staffers and advisers have, at different times, doubled as business associates for his relatives. These overlaps suggest an all-in-family approach that has persisted despite Biden’s assertions that he has kept a professional distance from his family’s business dealings. Particularly revealing is the hiring of the former head of Biden’s Secret Service detail by Jim Biden to investigate a Chinese executive, Patrick Ho, who Hunter Biden was doing business with in 2017. Despite claims of maintaining a professional distance, this move, ahead of a significant business meeting in Hong Kong, highlights how deeply enmeshed personal and professional lines can become. Jim Biden’s assertion during his February impeachment inquiry interview that he did not discuss business specifics with Hunter during the trip only adds layers to the opaque nature of the family’s business dealings.

One phrase found in a series of alleged emails linked to Hunter Biden — “10 for the big guy” — has become a focal point of controversy, drawing scrutiny to the business dealings of the president’s son and the implications for Biden. These emails, reportedly related to Hunter Biden’s interactions with the Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC, have raised questions about potential influence peddling and conflicts of interest. This email came to light as part of a larger trove of data discovered on a laptop that Hunter Biden left at a Delaware repair shop and never retrieved – and was recently entered into evidence as authentic by federal prosecutors during Hunter Biden’s ongoing trial for a federal firearms offense.


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“..they are sitting on two razor edges. On one they are about to fall into tyranny. On the other they are about to fall into nuclear war..”

The Beginning of Accountability For The Covid “Vaccine”? (Paul Craig Roberts)

US Rep. Dr. Rich McCormick (R , GA) is far from perfect. He is misguided on many issues and has, like the rest of them, imbibed many of the kool-aid narratives. But on the coercively imposed Covid protocols, he is superb. Here he is holding Anthony Fauci, in my considered opinion one of the major mass murders in human history, accountable.

VIDEO – Fauci Questioning – EXPLOSIVE exchange today (June 4, 2024) between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Congressman Rich McCormick by Dr. William Makis MD

Read on Substack

I find it extraordinary that the American people fall for every orchestration the government and its whore media present to them. It is the gullibility of Americans that has enabled the government to define truth-tellers as conspiracy theorists. For democracy to work, people have to be intelligent, informed, and committed to the defense of their rights. I don’t see any sign of this anywhere in the Western world. Insouciant populations allow governments, ruling elites, and the presstitutes to control the explanations. The truth can’t make you free when you are too indoctrinated to be able to recognize truth.

The America-hating Democrats, who especially hate white people and intend to replace them with unhindered mass immigration from the third world, gushed over Fauci, calling him a ‘hero’ and praised his efforts to replacing the doctor-patient relationship with coercion against “vaccine deniers.” In contrast, US Rep. Brad Wenstrup (D, OH) told Fauci: “you oversaw one of the most invasive regimes of domestic policy the US has ever seen.” The squirming Fauci was shut down when an audio clip was played in which Fauci said, “It’s been proven that when you make it difficult for people in their lives, they lose their ideological bullshit, and they get vaccinated.” Getting fired for not being vaccinated made it difficult for people in their lives. This is what Fauci advocated. “Take the death shot or be fired.” US Rep. Majorie Green (R, GA) said the subcommittee should issue a criminal referral against Fauci: “We should be recommending you to be prosecuted. We should be writing a criminal referral. You should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. You belong in prison, Dr Fauci.”

I certainly agree and would include Biden, the print and TV media, NPR, and most, and probably all, of the state medical boards along with the executives of the pharmaceutical companies as candidates for indictment. But it won’t happen. Instead the FBI will frame Majorie Green, Brad Wenstrup, and Rich McCormick. If President Trump can be framed on false and orchestrated charges, so can US Representatives and all of us. Why is it that Americans do not comprehend that they are sitting on two razor edges. On one they are about to fall into tyranny. On the other they are about to fall into nuclear war.Where is the hope when government seeks power over truth, when media prefers lies over truth, and insouciant Americans can’t tell the difference between truth and lies? The many sudden deaths and health injuries from the Covid “vaccine” and the Democrats’ political use of law against President Trump and his supporters have pulled many Americans out of their insouciance into the brutal reality that “their” government neither respects their rights nor their lives. Whether the growing awareness will lead to action remains to be seen.

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$54.3 trillion



Robo Biden



Elon bankruptcy









Happy bird






Stalk a lion



Water lions





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Oct 302019
 October 30, 2019  Posted by at 1:52 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  13 Responses »

Rembrandt van Rijn Portrait of Rembrandt with gorget 1629


During the Senate hearing into Boeing on October 29, Senator Jon Tester told the company’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg: “I would walk before I would get on a 737 MAX. I would walk.” He added: “There is no way … You shouldn’t be cutting corners and I see corners being cut.”

That’s all fine and well, but the hearing, which continues today, Wednesday, lays bare a giant gap in US law: that of accountability. Muilenburg is the “ultimately responsible” in a chain of command that is responsible for killing 346 people. But he is still the CEO, even if he was demoted from the chairman of the board position. Which was taken over by another -10 year- veteran of the company by the way. Fresh insights galore.

If you are employed by a large company, you can sign off on such decisions, the ones that kill people, and walk away unscathed. It reminds one of Monsanto/Bayer, which just annnounced that the number of Roundup lawsuits against it went from 18,000 in July to 43,000 today. Bayer at the same time announced that its turnover rose by 6% in Q3. 43,000 lawsuits and they’re doing fine, thank you.

In that same vein, Boeing shares rose 2.4% last night after the hearing (“a sign investors were relieved.”) What the “investors” buying those shares may have missed is that India’s budget carrier IndiGo ordered 300 new aircraft from Airbus, at an initial cost of $33 billion -which will be subject to a juicy discount, but still-.

Now, Boeing is America’s biggest exporter. It’s also one of the cornerstones of Pentagon policy, a huge provider for the US military. So one can only expect the Senate to be lenient, to appear to be tough but let things more or less go. Still, the fact remains that Muilenburg et al made cost-cutting and other decisions that killed 346 people. But CNCB still labeled this a “brutal Senate hearing”. Yeah. Define ‘brutal’.

Maybe the thing is that those deaths were not in the US, but in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Think maybe the Senate is influenced by that? What do you think would have happened if two 737 MAX’s had fallen out of the sky in the US, even if only in deplorables’ territory? We can sort of imagine, can’t we?

And no, it’s not an all black and white picture, some people involved made some sense (via Seattle Times):

Boeing 737 MAX Should Be Grounded Until Certification Process Is ‘Reformed’ – Senator

..at least one member of the Senate committee that grilled Muilenburg on Tuesday suggested the troubled aircraft shouldn’t be flying again until a much-maligned Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversight program retreats from its practice of delegating authority to Boeing and other aerospace manufacturers.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal — citing revelations in recent news reports of a Boeing engineer’s claims that the MAX’s safety was compromised by cost and schedule considerations, and that the company pushed to undercut regulatory oversight — pushed back against findings that the FAA’s practice of delegating more safety certification authority is only likely to increase.

“The story of Boeing sabotaging rigorous safety scrutiny is chilling to all of us — and more reason to keep the 737 MAX grounded until certification is really and truly independent and the system is reformed,” said Blumenthal, D-Conn.

But, you know, the entire narrative is about ‘the company’, not about the people in the company who make these fatal decisions. They can do whatever they want, secure in the knowledge they will never be held to account. For financial losses perhaps at some point, but not for the loss of life. At best, they’ll get fired and walk away with a huge bonus. And that’s just wrong.

And it’s not like there were no warning signs (via Seattle Times again, from Oct 3):

Boeing Rejected 737 MAX Safety Upgrades Before Fatal Crashes – Whistleblower

Seven weeks after the second fatal crash of a 737 MAX in March, a Boeing engineer submitted a scathing internal ethics complaint alleging that management — determined to keep down costs for airline customers — had blocked significant safety improvements during the jet’s development. The ethics charge, filed by 33-year-old engineer Curtis Ewbank, whose job involved studying past crashes and using that information to make new planes safer, describes how around 2014 his group presented to managers and senior executives a proposal to add various safety upgrades to the MAX.

The complaint, a copy of which was reviewed by The Seattle Times, suggests that one of the proposed systems could have potentially prevented the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. Three of Ewbank’s former colleagues interviewed for this story concurred. The details revealed in the ethics complaint raise new questions about the culture at Boeing and whether the long-held imperative that safety must be the overarching priority was compromised on the MAX by business considerations and management’s focus on schedule and cost. Managers twice rejected adding the new system on the basis of “cost and potential (pilot) training impact,” the complaint states.

This one is from AP, Oct 18. These are just the most recent revelations, this stuff goes back years. Neither Boeing nor the FAA ever did anything, until the planes started falling from the skies:

Messages From Former Boeing Test Pilot Reveal 737MAX Concerns

A former senior Boeing test pilot told a co-worker that he unknowingly misled safety regulators about problems with a flight-control system that would later be implicated in two deadly crashes of the company’s 737 Max. The pilot, Mark Forkner, told another Boeing employee in 2016 that the flight system, called MCAS, was “egregious” and “running rampant” while he tested it in a flight simulator.

“So I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly),” wrote Forkner, then Boeing’s chief technical pilot for the 737. The exchange occurred as Boeing was trying to convince the Federal Aviation Administration that MCAS was safe. MCAS was designed at least in part to prevent the Max from stalling in some situations. The FAA certified the plane without fully understanding MCAS, according to a panel of international safety regulators.

Forkner also lobbied FAA to remove mention of MCAS from the operating manual and pilot training for the Max, saying the system would only operate in rare circumstances. FAA allowed Boeing to do so, and most pilots did not know about MCAS until after the first crash, which occurred in October 2018 in Indonesia.

As I covered extensively before the issue at hand is that Boeing, in order to cut costs, among other things, decided to have just one -active- “angle-of-attack” sensor (which measures the angle of the plane vs income air, it’s located at the bottom front of the fuselage) on the plane. All it takes is one bird flying into it to compromise and/or deactivate that sensor. And then neither the software not the pilots know what to do anymore. But yeah, it’s cheaper… One sensor won’t do, nor will two, you need at least three in case one is defective. But yeah, that costs money. Seattle Times once again:

Messages From Former Boeing Test Pilot Reveal 737MAX Concerns

Boeing’s chief engineer for commercial airlines acknowledged that the company erred by not specifically testing the potential for a key sensor to erroneously cause software on the 737 Max to drive down the plane’s nose. In both fatal crashes, faulty data from one of two angle-of-attack sensors, which measure the pitch of the plane against the oncoming stream of air, caused the 737 Max’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, to drive down the jet’s nose, which pilots struggled to counteract before ultimately entering a fatal dive.

John Hamilton, vice president and chief engineer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told senators that the company “did test the MCAS uncommanded inputs to the stabilizer system, due to whatever causes was driving it, not specifically due to an AOA sensor.’’ Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington, the Senate Commerce Committee’s top Democrat, asked if he now thought that was wrong. “In hindsight, senator, yes,’’ Hamilton replied.

They didn’t test the hardware at all, they tested the software! And all they have to say is that that was wrong. But only in hindsight! And then they tried to fix the mess they created with a new software program, MCAS, but didn’t even tell the pilots it existed. I kid you not! They did this because it might have required pilots to do more training, which raises the price of a plane, and they were already losing out to Airbus.

And lest we forget, this all happened because when Boeing was busy spending its capital on buying back its own shares, Airbus had developed a new plane to accommodate a much more energy-efficient -though larger- engine. When Boeing figured that out, they had neither the time nor the money left (because of the share buybacks) to develop their own new plane.

So what they did was they stuck such an engine (which they did have) onto a 737 model that was not equipped for the much bigger and heavier load. That in turn lead them to work on a software solution to lift the nose of the plane despite that load, which might have worked in theory but was always a bad idea, something in the vein of putting a giraffe’s neck on a hummingbird.

But Muilenburg and his people kept pushing it all, because they knew they had been caught awfully wanting, and they needed that more cost-efficient plane. And this is how all the ensuing mess started. It was all because of money. Of the execs being caught with their pants down, and trying to hide their naked hairy asses.

And then, as I started out this essay, they are still not held accountable. The company will face billions in ‘repair’ damages, some of them may lose their jobs or bonuses, but none will be held responsible for the deaths of those 346 people.

That is just not right. Not in the case of Monsanto, and not in that of Boeing. Not all Boeing planes are disasters, but the 737 definitely is. Donald Trump a few months ago suggested they should just rebrand the plane, give it another name, do some expensive PR work and bob’s your uncle. But let me ask you, would you fly on a 737, even if under another name? Far as I know, all they did was change the software, not the hardware.

Plus, the other day some airline, was that in South Korea?!, grounded a whole bunch of 787’s because of cracks on their wings. Look, I’m not saying Boeing’s in trouble. I’m just saying Boeing’s in deep trouble. But then, you know, they’ll kick out Muilenburg and some other guys, and a few FAA heads will retire, and they’ll declare the rotten apples gone, and we’re off to a whole new start. Yay! But the 346 people will still be dead.





Sep 182019
 September 18, 2019  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  10 Responses »

Henri Matisse Antibes 1908


Fed Concludes First Repo In A Decade Amid Liquidity Panic (ZH)
Big Banks Score Win As FDIC Proposes Easing Post-Crisis Derivatives Rules (R.)
Oil Steadies After Saudi Pledges To Restore Output Lost In Attacks (R.)
Without Accountability, There Can Never Be Trust in Our Government (Cates)
House Panel Asks Boeing CEO To Testify October 30 on 737 MAX (R.)
Ethiopian Crash Victims Want 737 MAX Documents From Boeing, FAA (R.)
Editorial Mistake My Ass (Mish)
Democrats Urge New Probe Of Kavanaugh, Impeachment Inquiry (R.)
Trudeau Reassures Allies Amid Alleged Spying Case (BBC)
Catastrophic Effects Of Working As A Facebook Moderator (G.)
US Government Is Suing Edward Snowden For His Book Profits (Verge)



Oh yeah, let’s save the bankers again….

Fed Concludes First Repo In A Decade Amid Liquidity Panic (ZH)

Update 4: It’s over: after a torrid 30 minutes in which the NY Fed first announced a repo operation, then announced the repo was canceled due to technical difficulties, then mysterious the difficulties went away just minutes later, at precisely 10:10am, the Fed concluded its first repo operation in a decade, which while not topping out at the $75 billion max, was nonetheless a significant $53.15 billion, split as follows: • $40.85BN with TSYs as collateral at a 2.1% stop out rate • $0.6BN with Agencies as collateral at a 3.0% stop out rate • $11.7BN with Mortgage-backed securities as collateral at a 2.1% stop out rate. While the Fed did not disclose how many banks participated in the operation, it is safe to say it was a sizable number.

Worse, the result from today’s unexpected repo operation, we can now conclude that in addition to $1.3 trillion in ‘excess reserves’, a Fed which is now cutting rates and will cut rates by 25bps tomorrow, the US financial system somehow found itself with a liquidity shortfall of $53 billion that almost paralyzed the interbank funding market. Oh, and for those wondering why the Fed did a repo, the answer is simple: it did not want to launch QE just yet. But make no mistake, once repo is insufficient, the Fed will have no choice but to escalate to the next step which is open market purchases. Which brings us to the bigger question of how long such overnight repos will satisfy the market, and how long before the next repo rate spike prompts the Fed to do the inevitable, and restart QE. At least president Trump will be delighted.

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And while we’re saving their multi-million bonuses, let’s throw them some more bones,..

Big Banks Score Win As FDIC Proposes Easing Post-Crisis Derivatives Rules (R.)

A U.S. banking regulator on Tuesday proposed easing a rule requiring banks to set aside cash to safeguard derivatives trades between affiliates, marking one of the biggest wins for Wall Street lenders under the business-friendly Trump administration. The proposal, by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, could potentially free $40 billion across the nation’s largest banks, according to a 2018 survey by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), the global trade group that has been lobbying for the rule change for years.

The proposal is subject to public comment and will likely face resistance from Democratic lawmakers and consumer groups, who have warned that chipping away at regulations put in place following the 2007-2009 financial crisis could sew the seeds of the next one. Countries across the globe introduced a slew of rules to rein in the global over-the-counter derivatives market after big bets on credit swaps brought firms including Lehman Brothers and AIG to their knees.

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Was there any damage at all? Didn’t I read that they hit a bunch of empty tanks?

Oil Steadies After Saudi Pledges To Restore Output Lost In Attacks (R.)

Oil prices were little changed on Wednesday, steadying after Saudi Arabia said it will restore by the end of the month production lost in weekend attacks on its facilities. Prices plummeted 6% on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said the country had managed to restore oil supplies to customers to where they stood before the attacks on its facilities that shut 5% of global oil output by drawing from its huge inventories. But tension in the region remained elevated after the United States said it believed the attacks on the world’s top oil exporter originated in southwestern Iran. Iran has denied involvement in the strikes.

Brent crude oil futures were flat at $64.55 a barrel by 0732 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were down 15 cents, or 0.1%, to $59.19 a barrel, after sinking 5.7% on Tuesday. “Considering limited spare (production) capacity outside Saudi Arabia and risks of renewed attacks on Saudi energy infrastructure, a risk premium is likely to stay on oil prices in the foreseeable future,” UBS analysts said in a note. Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday that average oil production in September and October would be 9.89 million barrels per day and that the world’s top oil exporter would ensure full oil supply commitments to its customers this month.

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Not sure Bill Barr is your man.

Without Accountability, There Can Never Be Trust in Our Government (Cates)

The Watergate scandal, at its heart, was about political operatives working on behalf of the Nixon administration (informally known as “The Plumbers”) attempting to plant bugs in the phones of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, so they could spy on key Democratic campaign communications. A little-remembered fact is that bugs had been successfully planted earlier; the burglars were returning to plant a new set in the phones because the first set never worked properly. It was during this second foray into DNC headquarters in the middle of the night that they were caught by an observant security guard.

So the Watergate scandal was based on an attempt to spy on political opponents, but no evidence ever surfaced that any successful spying was actually done. The first set of listening devices never functioned, and the operatives were caught while trying to replace them. That won’t be the case in the Spygate scandal, because this wasn’t an off-the-books dirty tricks group like The Plumbers running an operation against the Trump campaign. This was the federal government itself, making use of the official engines of its intelligence and law enforcement agencies and surveillance courts to spy on a political campaign and, then, a presidency. And it’s because this scandal is so much worse than Watergate that the persons responsible for it must be held accountable for their actions.

[..] The crimes here amount to a deliberate attempt to subvert the federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies and turn them into political engines of partisan policy to shield political friends and destroy political enemies. After covering up serious crimes committed by their political friends, these key government officials used their offices to manufacture crimes to use as a pretext to investigate and punish their political enemies. Unless this behavior is punished with the utmost severity, no one will ever be able to place trust in the federal government. The ball of accountability will soon end up in the court of U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

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I for one have little faith in Congress in this case. Not that I have much faith in Congress in general.

House Panel Asks Boeing CEO To Testify October 30 on 737 MAX (R.)

The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee formally asked Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Tuesday to testify on the now grounded 737 MAX that has been involved in two deadly crashes since October 2018 that killed 346 people. The panel’s chair, Representative Peter DeFazio, also asked John Hamilton, the chief engineer of Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes division, to appear. Both executives have been asked to testify on Oct. 30. Last week, DeFazio asked Muilenburg to make several employees available for interviews as part of a congressional probe into the design, development and certification of 737 MAX aircraft. “Boeing has received the Committee’s invitation and is reviewing it now. We will continue to cooperate with Congress and regulatory authorities as we focus on safely returning the MAX to service,” a Boeing representative said in a statement.

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But will they get them? Boeing will just claim they would reveal company secrets.

Ethiopian Crash Victims Want 737 MAX Documents From Boeing, FAA (R.)

A lawyer for victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 said on Tuesday he wants Boeing Co and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to hand over documents about the decision to keep the Boeing 737 MAX in the air after a deadly Lion Air crash last October. A week after Lion Air Flight 610 nose-dived into the Java Sea, killing all 189 aboard, the FAA warned airlines that erroneous inputs from an automated flight control system’s sensors could lead the jet to automatically pitch its nose down, but the agency allowed the jets to continue flying. Five months later, the same system was blamed for playing a role when ET302 crashed on March 10, killing all 157 passengers and crew and prompting a worldwide grounding of the 737 MAX that remains in place.

“The decisions to keep those planes in service are key,” Robert Clifford of Clifford Law Offices, which represents families of the Ethiopian crash victims, said at a status hearing before U.S. Judge Jorge Alonso in Chicago. Nearly 100 lawsuits have been filed against Boeing by at least a dozen law firms representing families of the Ethiopian Airlines crash victims, who came from 35 different countries, including nine U.S. citizens and 19 Canadians. Families of about 60 victims have yet to file lawsuits but plaintiffs’ lawyers said they anticipate more to come. Most of the lawsuits do not make a specific dollar claim, though Ribbeck Law Chartered has said its clients are seeking more than $1 billion.

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The entire Kavanaugh thing is empty, just two women trying to sell a book. Trump said he should sue them. But as a Supreme Court judge, perhaps he shouldn’t.

Editorial Mistake My Ass (Mish)

As details emerge in the New York Times Kavanaugh scandal, it’s very clear the NYT repeatedly made serious errors On September 14, the New York Times resurrected unsubstantiated and graphic rumors about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a purposeful smear article Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not. The article was by disgraced NYT authors Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly to promote their upcoming book “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.” I do not normally report on sleaze but to understand what the NYT did, I have to. Here is one controversial paragraph: “We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”

The NYT later added this correction. “The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.” Making matters worse for itself, the NYT came out and blamed it all on an “editing error”. Reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly said in an interview on MSNBC that they wrote in the draft of their Sunday Review piece that a woman who Kavanaugh was said to have exposed himself to while a student at Yale had told others she had no recollection of the alleged incident. Their editors, they say, removed the reference. “It was just sort of. . . in the haste of the editing process,” said Pogrebin.

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But this is where the non-story leads to. Kamala seeks a way to reinvent her campaign, the rest just follows.

Democrats Urge New Probe Of Kavanaugh, Impeachment Inquiry (R.)

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris on Tuesday urged a House of Representatives panel to investigate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, while a Democratic lawmaker filed an impeachment resolution in the wake of new allegations of sexual misconduct by the conservative judge when he was in college in the 1980s. The moves by Harris, one of 20 Democratic presidential candidates, and Representative Ayanna Pressley, a progressive on the left of the party, signaled impatience among some Democrats with congressional leaders unenthusiastic about pursuing Kavanaugh’s impeachment, though their efforts appeared unlikely to spur action.

Harris said in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler that the panel should “hold Mr. Kavanaugh accountable for his prior conduct and testimony.” Nadler on Monday faulted the FBI’s probe of prior sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh ahead of his narrow confirmation by the Senate in October 2018, saying in a radio interview it “apparently was a sham.” But Nadler also said his panel had its “hands full” with investigating Republican President Donald Trump. In her letter to Nadler, Harris suggested the House Judiciary Committee could create a task force and retain outside counsel if it did not have the time or resources to pursue an inquiry of Kavanaugh now.

Harris and several other Democratic presidential candidates called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment after the New York Times published an essay over the weekend detailing what it described as a previously unreported incident of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh. Others include former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke.

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Only a Five Eyes spy chief. And whaddaya know, there’s Bill Browder again. See from yesteday: The Magnitskiy Myth Exploded.

Trudeau Reassures Allies Amid Alleged Spying Case (BBC)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has moved to reassure allies in the wake of an alleged spying case with possible international implications. A senior intelligence official was charged last week with violating national security laws. Cameron Ortis had access to information coming from Canada’s global allies, the RCMP national police force said. Canada is in close contact with its intelligence partners over the case, Mr Trudeau says. “We are in direct communications with our allies on security,” the prime minister said while campaigning in Newfoundland on Tuesday. “We are also working with them to reassure them, but we want to ensure that everyone understands that we are taking this situation very seriously.” Canada is a member of the Five Eyes – the intelligence alliance that also includes the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Ortis, who was a director general with the police force’s intelligence unit, is accused of breaching the Security of Information Act and the Criminal Code. The charges filed against him include the “unauthorised communication of special operational information”, possessing a device or software “useful for concealing the content of information or for surreptitiously communicating, obtaining or retaining information”, and breach of trust by a public officer. [..] Mr Ortis was looking into allegations that Russian tax fraudsters had laundered millions of dollars through Canada, a US financier told Reuters. Bill Browder, a high-profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he had met Mr Ortis twice in Canada in 2017 after alerting the RCMP to the matter.

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What exactly would you say is Facebook’s role in our society? How about in your life?

Catastrophic Effects Of Working As A Facebook Moderator (G.)

They describe being ground down by the volume of the work, numbed by the graphic violence, nudity and bullying they have to view for eight hours a day, working nights and weekends, for “practically minimum pay”. A little-discussed aspect of Facebook’s moderation was particularly distressing to the contractors: vetting private conversations between adults and minors that have been flagged by algorithms as likely sexual exploitation. Such private chats, of which “90% are sexual”, were “violating and creepy”, one moderator said. “You understand something more about this sort of dystopic society we are building every day,” he added. “We have rich white men from Europe, from the US, writing to children from the Philippines … they try to get sexual photos in exchange for $10 or $20.”

Gina, a contractor, said: “I think it’s a breach of human rights. You cannot ask someone to work fast, to work well and to see graphic content. The things that we saw are just not right.” The workers, whose names have been changed, were speaking on condition of anonymity because they had signed non-disclosure agreements with Facebook. Daniel, a former moderator, said: “We are a sort of vanguard in this field … It’s a completely new job, and everything about it is basically an experiment.” John, his former colleague, said: “I’m here today because I would like to avoid other people falling into this hole. As a contemporary society, we are running into this new thing – the internet – and we have to find some rules to deal with it.

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Pay him in Bitcoin.

US Government Is Suing Edward Snowden For His Book Profits (Verge)

The Justice Department has filed a civil lawsuit against Edward Snowden that would recover all proceeds of his recently released memoir, the department announced on Tuesday. The charges coincide with the official publication of the book, which is titled Permanent Record. Snowden’s memoir was allegedly not submitted to the CIA or NSA for pre-publication review, a required practice among former employees of intelligence agencies. As such, the department considers the book a breach of Snowden’s fiduciary obligations, and names the publishers as co-defendants in the suit.

Given the still-classified programs and materials discussed in the memoir, it is unlikely that the book would have been approved for publication by the agencies. Snowden remains a de facto fugitive from the US government, and would likely face charges under the Espionage Act if he returned to the country. But the new civil case could nonetheless cause problems for Snowden, potentially enjoining his publishers from releasing any of the proceeds from the book. Crucially, the suit does not seek to block the release of Snowden’s memoir, as doing so would be illegal under the First Amendment.

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From Notes on the Next War, 1935






Aug 012016
 August 1, 2016  Posted by at 5:38 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  3 Responses »

Dorothea Lange Migratory agricultural worker family fixing tire along California highway US 99 1937

The IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) issued a report a few days ago entitled ‘The IMF and the Crises in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal’. It is so damning for managing director Christine Lagarde and her closest associates, that it’s hard to see, certainly at first blush, how they could all keep their jobs. But don’t be surprised if that is exactly what will happen.

Because organizations like the IMF don’t care much, if at all, about accountability. Their leaders think they are close to untouchable, at least as long as they have the ‘blessing’ of those whose interests they serve. Which in case of the IMF means the world’s major banks and the governments of the richest nations (who also serve the same banks’ interests). And if these don’t like the course set out, a scandal with a chambermaid is easily staged.

But the IEO doesn’t answer to Lagarde, it answers to the IMF’s board of executive directors. Still, despite multiple reports over the past few years out of the ‘inner layers’ of the Fund that were critical of, and showed far more comprehension of events than, Lagarde et al, the board never criticizes the former France finance minister in public. And maybe that should change; if the IMF is to hold on to the last shreds of its credibility, that is. But that brings us back to “Organizations like the IMF don’t care much, if at all, about accountability.”

What the IEO report makes very clear is that the IMF should never have agreed, as part of the Troika, to assist the EU in forcing austerity upon Greece without insisting on significant debt relief, in the shape of a haircut, or (a) debt writedown(s). The IMF’s long established policy is that both MUST happen together. But its Troika companion, the EU, is bound by the Lisbon Treaty, which stipulates: “The Union shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of central governments”. Also, the ECB can not “finance member states”.

If Lagarde and her minions had stayed true to their own ‘principles’, they should have refused to impose austerity on Greece if and when the EU refused debt relief (note: this has been playing out since at least 2010). They did not, however.



The IMF caved in (how willingly is hard to gauge), and the entire Troika agreed to waterboard Greece. The official excuse for bending the IMF’s own rules was the risk of ‘contagion’. But in a surefire sign that Lagarde et al were not acting with, let’s say, a “clear conscience”, they hid this decision from their own executive board.

Moreover, the IEO now says it was unable to obtain key records or assess the activities of secretive “ad-hoc task forces”. “Many documents were prepared outside the regular established channels; written documentation on some sensitive matters could not be located; [the IEO] has not been able to determine who made certain decisions or what information was available, nor has it been able to assess the relative roles of management and staff..”

One must wonder why the IMF has an executive board at all. Is it only to provide a facade of credibility and international coherence? When it becomes so clear, and -no less- through a report issued by one of its own offices, that its ‘boots on the ground’ care neither for its established policies nor for its board, isn’t it time for the board to interfere lest the Fund loses even more credibility?

The IMF’s main problem, which many insiders may ironically see as its main asset, is the lack of transparency, combined with the overwhelming power exerted by the US and Europe. And Europe’s grip on the IMF is exactly what the report is about, in that it accuses Lagarde et al of bowing to EU pressure, to the extent that it abandons its own guiding ‘laws’. It acted like it was the European Monetary Fund, not the international one.

So there’s no transparency, no accountability, and in the end that will lead to no credibility and no relevance. Well, that’s exactly how the EU lost Britain. And that shows where accountability and credibility are important even for non-democratic supra-national institutions, something these institutions are prone to neglect.

No, there will not be a vote put to the people, no referendum on the IMF. Though that would sure be interesting. What can happen, though, is that countries, even large ones like China and Russia, threaten to leave, perhaps start their own alternative fund. These things have already been widely discussed.

What is sure is that the US/Europe-centered character of the Fund will have to change. If Washington and Brussels try to appoint another European as managing director (an unwritten law thus far) they will face a rebellion.



That next appointment may come sooner than we think. Because Christine Lagarde is in trouble. It’s even a bit strange, and that’s putting it gently, that she’s still in her job. What’s hanging over her head is a 2008 case, in which she approved a payment of €403 million to businessman Bernard Tapie, for ‘losses’ he was to have suffered in 1993 when French bank Crédit Lyonnais supposedly undervalued his stake in Adidas.

Lagarde is accused of negligence in the case, in particular because she ignored advice from her own ministry (yeah, that does smack like the IMF thing) and let the Tapie case go to a special arbitration committee instead of the courts. That Tapie was a supporter of the Sarkozy government Lagarde served as finance minister at the time makes it juicier.

So does this: In 1993 Crédit Lyonnais was a private bank. But in 2008, it had been wound up and was run by a state-operated consortium. Therefore, the €403 million ‘awarded’ to Tapie out-of-court was all taxpayers money. Even juicier: in December 2015, a French appeal court overruled the compensation and ordered Tapie to repay the money, with interest.

What’s peculiar about Lagarde staying on at the IMF is that she is not merely under investigation or even ‘only’ accused of committing a crime. Instead, she has been ordered to stand trial, something she’s spent 8 years trying to avoid. Still, apparently nobody sees any problem in her continuing to act as Managing Director of the IMF.

That is quite something. And it directly affects the Fund’s credibility. If a president or prime minister of a country, any country, had been ordered to stand trial, the likely procedure would be to temporarily stand down and let someone else take care of government business pending the trial.

As it stands, however, Lagarde is allowed to sit pretty. And then? Borrowing from the Guardian: “A charge of negligence in the use of public money carries a one-year jail sentence and a €15,000 fine. The CJR is made up of six members of the French Assemblée Nationale, six members of the upper house, the Senate and three magistrates. No date has been set for the hearing.”

Ironically, negligence turns out to be a very light charge. Someone in Lagarde’s position could have given away or squandered trillions of euros and then be fined €15,000. But then, class justice is alive and well in France. What are the odds that she will be convicted? She’d have to be found with a chambermaid in Manhattan for that to happen…



That’s perhaps what the IMF board are thinking too. Whether that’s wise remains to be seen. Hubris rules all these institutions, sheltered as they are from the real world. But the real world is changing.

Ironically, many people think these changes will reinforce the IMF. Since the Fund can issue a sort of ‘super money’ in the shape/guise of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), and especially China would seem to like SDRs becoming the world’s reserve currency instead of the US dollar, the IMF in some people’s eyes holds a trump card.

There may well be an effort to hide private and public debt throughout the planet even more than it is hidden now, through SDRs. We’ll likely see governments and perhaps large corporations issue bonds denominated in SDRs. China seems to think that this could potentially halt much of its capital flight.

My trouble with this is that it’s either too unclear or too clear who would profit most from such schemes. Even if the next managing director of the IMF is not European, but Asian or African, the puppet masters of the Fund will still be the same western financial ‘cabal’. And I don’t see China or Russia signing up to that kind of control, and willingly expand it by making SDRs far more important.

Then again, there’s a sh*tload of debt that needs to be hidden, and the whole world is running out of carpet to sweep it under. Then again, Russia is not that indebted. It’ll be hard to get a consensus.



But all that won’t help Greece. Let’s get back to that. We left off where Lagarde conspired with the EU, under the guise of preventing contagion, to abandon the IMF’s own rules in order to waterboard the country. Of course, we know, though nobody writing on the IEO report mentions it, that the contagion they were trying to prevent was not so much between nations but between banks.

The bailout-related policies and actions that Lagarde hid from her own board (!) were designed to make French and German banks ‘whole’ at the cost of the Greek people. It became austerity, so severe as to make no sense whatsoever -certainly inside an alleged ‘Union’-, even if the IMF -not the world most charitable institution- has always banned this without being accompanied by strong debt relief.

Schäuble and Dijsselbloem saved Germany and Holland at the expense of Greece. This will end up being the undoing of the EU, even if nobody’s willing to acknowledge it despite the glaring evidence of the Brexit.

It will probably be the undoing of the IMF as well. And there I get back to what I’ve said 1000 times: centralization can only work in times of growth. There is no conceivable reason, other than dictatorship, why people would want to be part of a centralizing movement unless they get richer from it.

In today’s shrinking global economy, we have passed a point of no return in this regard. Everyone will want out of these institutions, and get back to making their own decisions about their own lives, instead of having these decisions being taken by some far away board with no accountability.

Let’s end with a few quotes about the IEO report. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard was in fine form:

IMF Admits Disastrous Love Affair With The Euro and Apologises For The Immolation Of Greece

The International Monetary Fund’s top staff misled their own board, made a series of calamitous misjudgments in Greece, became euphoric cheerleaders for the euro project, ignored warning signs of impending crisis, and collectively failed to grasp an elemental concept of currency theory.

[..] In Greece, the IMF violated its own cardinal rule by signing off on a bailout in 2010 even though it could offer no assurance that the package would bring the country’s debts under control or clear the way for recovery, and many suspected from the start that it was doomed. The organisation got around this by slipping through a radical change in IMF rescue policy, allowing an exemption (since abolished) if there was a risk of systemic contagion. “The board was not consulted or informed,” it said. The directors discovered the bombshell “tucked into the text” of the Greek package, but by then it was a fait accompli.

[..] The injustice is that the cost of the bailouts was switched to ordinary Greek citizens – the least able to support the burden – and it was never acknowledged that the true motive of EU-IMF Troika policy was to protect monetary union. Indeed, the Greeks were repeatedly blamed for failures that stemmed from the policy itself. This unfairness – the root of so much bitterness in Greece – is finally recognised in the report. “If preventing international contagion was an essential concern, the cost of its prevention should have been borne – at least in part – by the international community as the prime beneficiary,” it said.



That would seem to leave the IMF just one option: to apologize profoundly to Greece, to demand from the EU that all unjust measures be reversed and annulled, and to set up a very large fund (how about €1 trillion) specifically to support the Greek people, including retribution of lost funds, repair of the health care system, reinstatement of a pension system that can actually keep people alive and so on and so forth.

And to top it off of course: debt writedowns as far as the eye can see. You f**k up, you pay the price. This makes me think of a remark by Angela Merkel a few weeks ago, she said ‘we have found the right mix when it comes to Greece’. Well, Angela, that is so completely bonkers it’s insulting, and the IMF’s own evaluation office says so.

I like this one from Bill Black as well:

It was only after forcing the Greek people into a pointless purgatory of a decade of disaster that the troika would consider providing debt relief…The only ‘debt relief’ they offer to discuss is a ‘long rescheduling of debt payments at low interest rates.’ This, under their own dogmas, will lock Greece into a long-term debt trap that will materially lower Greece’s growth rate for decades and leave it constantly vulnerable to recurrent financial crises. That is a recipe for disaster for Greece, Italy, and Spain (collectively, 100 million citizens) and for the EU. It is financial madness – and that ignores the political instability it will cause to force an EU member nation to twist slowly in the wind for 50 years.”

Got that one off of Yanis Varoufakis’ site, and he must be feeling very vindicated, even if not nearly enough people express it, by the IMF report. Because he’s said all along what they themselves are now admitting. But it ain’t much good if nothing changes, is it? Or, as Varoufakis put it:

[..] to complete this week’s drubbing of the troika, the report by the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) saw the light of day. It is a brutal assessment, leaving no room for doubt about the vulgar economics and the gunboat diplomacy employed by the troika. It puts the IMF, the ECB and the Commission in a tight spot: Either restore a modicum of legitimacy by owning up and firing the officials most responsible or do nothing, thus turbocharging the discontent that European citizens feel toward the EU, accelerating the EU’s deconstruction.

[..] The question now is: What next? What good is it to receive a mea culpa if the policies imposed on the Greek government are the same ones that the mea culpa was issued for? What good is it to have a mea culpa if those officials who imposed such disastrous, inhuman policies remain on board and are, in fact, promoted for their gross incompetence?

In sum, an urgent apology is due to the Greek people, not just by the IMF but also by the ECB and the Commission whose officials were egging the IMF on with the fiscal waterboarding of Greece. But an apology and a collective mea culpa from the troika is woefully inadequate. It needs to be followed up by the immediate dismissal of at least three functionaries.

First on the list is Mr Poul Thomsen – the original IMF Greek Mission Chief whose great failure (according to the IMF’s own reports never before had a mission chief presided over a greater macroeconomic disaster) led to his promotion to the IMF’s European Chief status. A close second spot in this list is Mr Thomas Wieser, the chair of the EuroWorkingGroup who has been part of every policy and every coup that resulted in Greece’s immolation and Europe’s ignominy, hopefully to be joined into retirement by Mr Declan Costello, whose fingerprints are all over the instruments of fiscal waterboarding. And, lastly, a gentleman that my Irish friends know only too well, Mr Klaus Masuch of the ECB.

You probably guessed by now that I would certainly and urgently add Christine Lagarde to that list of people to be fired. And not appoint another French citizen as managing director. Too risky. They do crazy things. The IMF must be reorganized, and thoroughly, or it no longer has a ‘raison d’être’.

I see no reason to doubt that those who call the shots are too blinded by hubris to execute such measures, so I’ll list these things one more time: transparency, accountability, credibility and if you don’t have those you will lose your relevance.

But it’s probably a bad idea to begin with to let an economy, if not a world, in decline, be governed by the same people who owe their positions to its rise. It would seem to take another kind of mindframe.