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 on: March 23, 2015, 12:06:59 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Nice work Doug!

"My first search to find Hillary commodity trading scandal background information brought up this thread as a top ten search result!"

Well done gentlemen!

 cool cool cool cool cool cool cool cool cool 

Very good article, though I would LOVE to find that article that I remember in the WSJ.  Now thanks to this article here we have a much more narrowly defined time range to define our search.   What I remember of the article was that it appeared on the editorial page and was written by the man who had been the IRS attorney in charge of prosecuting tax frauds manipulating "commodity straddles".

 on: March 23, 2015, 11:11:04 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
The stock market success is NOT based on QE or our easy money policies, we are told, but when the Fed talks of ending the absurdity of zero interest rates, the market falls and when they talk of continuing it even longer, the market continues to rise. 

 on: March 23, 2015, 11:05:56 AM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by DougMacG
Agreed.   Watch for Hillary come out to secure the Democratic Jewish vote with strong remarks for Israel.

If she doesn't I would be very surprised. 

And I wouldn't count on the Democratic party to lose the liberal Jewish vote either way though.  Maybe they would sit out the election but it seems hard to believe any of them would be willing to vote for a Republican.   To them Repubs are worse than Nazis.  cry

That's right.  No R is going to win the liberal Jewish vote.  But most of my Jewish friends are traditional Democrats, CFOs and small business owners, who are conflicted with what they see happening.  They are successful and see firsthand the policies of attacking success.  Not just federal, but we have some new state taxes here worse than Calif!  They see over a prolonged period that it is Republicans (and Christians) who want to protect the Jewish state of Israel, and it is liberals and Democrats who keep siding with the terrorists who attack Israel and committed to its destruction.  At some point you stop pulling that lever.

Meanwhile, the Dem coalition has Muslims, gays and Jews all playing on the same team.  And they think WE have problems!  Chipping away at the support of core Democrat demographic constituencies is exactly what we need.  If the black vote for Obama at 98% drops to maybe 88% with weaker enthusiasm and if the Dems hold on Jews that already dropped 21% in 8 years ( falls even further, and if gains are made with Hispanics...  trends like that can change the direction of the country.

 on: March 23, 2015, 10:43:25 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
My first search to find Hillary commodity trading scandal background information brought up this thread as a top ten search result!  I've looked through some WSJ material from the 1990s but found neither the article Crafty referenced nor the editorial that I remember.  One interesting point at the start is that it was the NYT that first brought forward the story.  Her earliest explanation was that she got her information from the WSJ.  In response, the editors said we're flattered but no, it doesn't work that way.

In fact, the odds of doing what she did without cheating the system are one in 31 trillion against her, best case.  Assuming that the return is made in the most efficient way possible, this probability falls to approximately 1.5×10−16.
As the joke goes, so you're sayin' I got a shot!

What really was going on?

The person feeding her information and hand placing her trades with hindsight was chief counsel to one of the state's most powerful companies as her husband was Attorney General and leading candidate for Governor.  In crony corruption language, quid pro quo is the exchange of goods or services where one transfer is contingent upon the other.  "During Mr. Clinton's tenure as Governor, Tyson benefited from several state decisions, including favorable environmental rulings, $9 million in state loans, and the placement of company executives on important state boards."  (

Politico, March 10, 2015
A few days after Hubbell’s resignation [Hillary's law partner who plead guilty for bilking clients], the New York Times ran a lengthy story about Hillary’s commodity trades. Her aides and lawyers had finally provided financial records to the Times, but only after the newspaper made clear that it was preparing to publish a detailed account of her trading profits.

Initially, senior aides to the Clintons said in March 1994 that Hillary “based her trades on information in the Wall Street Journal.” That explanation was subsequently dropped. An aide to Hillary then said she had withdrawn from the market in the fall of 1979 because she had found trading too nerve-racking in the final months of her pregnancy. But another White House aide quickly declared that excuse “inoperative” after it was disclosed in April 1994 that Hillary made $6,500 in a commodities-trading venture in 1980 but failed to report that profit to the IRS.

Shortly after that, Hillary took responsibility—in her standard combination of singular acknowledgment and plural blame—for her aides’ confusing answers to reporters, saying they stemmed from her being away, working on other issues. “I probably did not spend enough time, get as precise,” she explained, “so I think that the confusion was our responsibility.”

[No criminal investigation was made because the statute of limitations had long expired before the tax returns were made available.]

They note the similarity to the private email scandal press conference and a similar one in 1994:

By mid-April [1994], Hillary’s approval ratings had dropped from 56 percent the year before to 44 percent, a historically low mark for a First Lady. Aides knew that Hillary’s stubborn reluctance to speak with the press was one of the sources of the public’s displeasure with her. For weeks, her aides and friends had urged her to con- front the negative reports and innuendos in an open, candid way. It was one thing to stay in the background, but by not providing Americans with an example different from her initially off-putting public appearance, she was leaving it to her political enemies to define her.
In late April, Hillary told her chief of staff, Maggie Williams, “I want to do it. Let’s call a press conference.”
“You know you’ll have to answer all questions, no matter what they throw at you,” Williams responded.
“I know. I’m ready.”

 on: March 23, 2015, 09:08:23 AM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by ccp
Agreed.   Watch for Hillary come out to secure the Democratic Jewish vote with strong remarks for Israel.

If she doesn't I would be very surprised. 

And I wouldn't count on the Democratic party to lose the liberal Jewish vote either way though.  Maybe they would sit out the election but it seems hard to believe any of them would be willing to vote for a Republican.   To them Repubs are worse than Nazis.  cry

 on: March 23, 2015, 09:01:28 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
Hi Objectivist.

Thanks for the article.

I see construction like crazy near me in NJ.  New shops stores etc.   The vast majority seem to be large chains and mega companies like Walmart, chipotles, dunken donuts, etc.  Many are manned by people with accents. 

It seems there are 2 economies.

 on: March 23, 2015, 08:54:45 AM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by DougMacG

Israel should have this friend in the White House. 

 on: March 23, 2015, 05:34:03 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: March 23, 2015, 05:09:49 AM 
Started by logan - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: March 22, 2015, 09:14:34 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by objectivist1
One Last Look At The Real Economy Before It Implodes - Part 3

Wednesday, 18 March 2015    Brandon Smith

In the previous installments of this series, we discussed the hidden and often unspoken crisis brewing within the employment market, as well as in personal debt. The primary consequence being a collapse in overall consumer demand, something which we are at this very moment witnessing in the macro-picture of the fiscal situation around the world. Lack of real production and lack of sustainable employment options result in a lack of savings, an over-dependency on debt and welfare, the destruction of grass-roots entrepreneurship, a conflated and disingenuous representation of gross domestic product, and ultimately an economic system devoid of structural integrity — a hollow shell of a system, vulnerable to even the slightest shocks.

This lack of structural integrity and stability is hidden from the general public quite deliberately by way of central bank money creation that enables government debt spending, which is counted toward GDP despite the fact that it is NOT true production (debt creation is a negation of true production and historically results in a degradation of the overall economy as well as monetary buying power, rather than progress). Government debt spending also disguises the real state of poverty within a system through welfare and entitlements. The U.S. poverty level is at record highs, hitting previous records set 50 years ago during Lyndon Johnson’s administration. The record-breaking rise in poverty has also occurred despite 50 years of the so called “war on poverty,” a shift toward American socialism that was a continuation of the policies launched by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 'New Deal'.

The shift toward a welfare state is the exact reason why, despite record poverty and a 23 percent true unemployment rate (as discussed here), we do not yet see the kind of soup lines and rampant indigence witnessed during the Great Depression. Today, EBT cards and other welfare programs hide modern soup lines in plain sight. It should be noted that the record 20 percent of U.S. households now on food stamps are still technically contributing to GDP. That’s because government statistics make no distinction between normal grocery consumption and consumption created artificially through debt-generated welfare.

This third installment of our economic series will be the most difficult.  We will examine the issue of government debt, including how true debt is disguised from the public and how this debt is a warning of a coming implosion in our overall structure.  National debt is perhaps one of the most manipulated fields of economics, and the layers surrounding what our country truly owes to foreign creditors and central banks are many.  I believe this confusing array of disinformation is designed to discourage average Americans from pursuing the facts.  Here are the facts all the same, for those who have the patience...

First, it is important to debunk the mainstream lies surrounding what constitutes national debt.

“Official” national debt as of 2015 is currently reported at more than $18 trillion. That means that under Barack Obama and with the aid of the private Federal Reserve, U.S. debt has nearly doubled since 2008 — quite an accomplishment in only seven years’ time. But this is not the whole picture.

Official GDP numbers published for mainstream consumption do NOT include annual liabilities generated by programs such as Social Security and Medicare. These liabilities are veiled through the efforts of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which reports on what it calls “debts” rather than on the true fiscal gap. Through the efforts of economists like Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University, Alan J. Auerbach and Jagadeesh Gokhale, understanding of the fiscal gap (the difference between our government’s projected financial obligations and the present value of all projected future tax and other receipts) is slowly growing within more mainstream circles.

The debt created through the fiscal gap increases, for example, because of the Social Security program - since government taxes the population for Social Security but uses that tax money to fund other programs or to pay off other outstanding debts. In other words, the government collects "taxes" with the promise of paying them back in the future through Social Security, but it spends that money instead of saving it for the use it was supposedly intended.

The costs of such unfunded liabilities within programs like Social Security and Medicare accumulate as the government continues to kick the can down the road instead of changing policy to cover costs. This accumulation is reflected in the Alternative Financial Scenario analysis, which the CBO used to publish every year but for some reason stopped publishing in 2013. Here is a presentation on the AFS by the St. Louis branch of the Federal Reserve. Take note that the crowd laughs at the prospect of the government continuing to “can kick” economic policy changes in order to avoid handling current debt obligations, yet that is exactly what has happened over the past several years.

Using the AFS report, Kotlikoff and other more honest economists estimate real U.S. national debt to stand at about $205 trillion.

When the exposure of these numbers began to take hold in the mainstream, media pundits and establishment propagandists set in motion a campaign to spin public perception, claiming that the vast majority of this debt was actually “projected debt” to be paid over the course of 70 years or more and, thus, not important in terms of today’s debt concerns. While some estimates of national debt include future projections of unfunded liabilities in certain sectors this far ahead, the spin masters' fundamental argument is in fact a disingenuous redirection of the facts.

According to the calculations of economists like Chris Cox and Bill Archer, unfunded liabilities are adding about $8 trillion in total debt annually. That is $8 trillion dollars per year not accounted for in official national debt stats.  For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion of this amount.

Kotlikoff’s analysis shows that this annual hidden debt accumulation has resulted in a current total of $205 trillion. This amount is not the unfunded liabilities added up in all future years. This is the present value of the unfunded liabilities, discounted to today.

How is the U.S. currently covering such massive obligations on top of the already counted existing budget costs? It’s not.

Taxes collected yearly in the range of $3.7 trillion are nowhere near enough to cover the amount, and no amount of future taxes would make a dent either. This is why the Grace Commission, established during the Ronald Reagan presidency, found that not a single penny of your taxes collected by the Internal Revenue Service is going toward the funding of actual government programs. In fact, all new taxes are being used to pay off the ever increasing interest on current debts.

For those who argue that an increase in taxation is the cure, more than 102 million people are unemployed within the U.S. today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Current Population Survey (CPS), 148 million are employed; about 20% of these are considered part-time workers (about 30 million people). Around 16 million full time workers are employed by state and local government (meaning they are a drain on the system whether they know it or not).  Only 43 percent of all U.S. households are considered “middle class,” the section of the public where most taxes are derived. In the best-case scenario, we have about 120 million people paying a majority of taxes toward U.S. debt obligations, while nearly as many are adding to those debt obligations through welfare programs or have the potential to add to those obligations in the near future if they do not find work due to the high unemployment rate that no one at the BLS wants to acknowledge.

Looking at reality, one finds a swiftly shrinking middle class paying for an ever larger welfare class.  Do the math, and an honest person will admit that no matter how much taxes increase, they will still never make up for the lack of adequate taxpayers.

Another dishonest argument given to dismiss concerns of national debt is the lie that Domestic Net Worth in the U.S. far outweighs our debts owed, and this somehow negates the issue. Domestic Net Worth is calculated using Gross Domestic Assets, public and private. It's interesting, however, that Domestic Net Worth counts 'Debt Capital' as an asset, just as GDP counts debt creation as production.  Debt Capital is the “capital” businesses and governments raise by taking out loans. This capital (debt) is then counted as an asset toward Domestic Net Worth.

Yes, that’s right, private and national debts are “assets.” And mainstream economists argue that these debts (errr… assets) offset our existing debts. This is the unicorn, Neverland, Care Bear magic of establishment economics, folks. It’s truly a magnificent thing to behold.

Ironically, debt capital, like the official national debt, does not include unfunded liabilities. If it did, mainstream talking heads could claim an even vaster supply of “assets” (debts) that offset our liabilities.

This situation is clearly unsustainable. The only people who seem to argue that it is sustainable are disinformation agents with something to gain (government favors and pay) and government cronies with something to lose (public trust and their positions of petty authority).

With overall Treasury investments static for some foreign central banks and dwindling in others, the only other options are to print indefinitely and at ever greater levels, or to default. For decades, the Federal Reserve has been printing in order to keep the game afloat, and the American public has little to no idea how much fiat and debt the private institution has conjured in the process. Certainly, the amount of debt we see just in annual unfunded liabilities helps to explain why the dollar has lost 97 percent of its purchasing power since the Fed was established. Covering that much debt in the short term requires a constant flow of fiat, digital and paper.  Not only does REAL debt threaten our credit standing as a nation, it also threatens the value and full faith in the dollar.

The small glimpse into Fed operations we received during the limited TARP audit was enough to warrant serious concern, as a full audit would likely result in the exposure of total debt fraud, the immediate abandonment of U.S. Treasury investment, and the destruction of the dollar. Of course, all of that will eventually happen anyway...

I will discuss why this will take place sooner rather than later through the issues of Treasury bonds and the dollar in the fourth installment of this series. In the fifth installment, I will examine the many reasons why a deliberate program of destructive debt bubbles and currency devaluations actually benefits certain international financiers and elites with aspirations of complete globalization. And in the sixth and final installment, I will delve into practical solutions - and practical solutions only. In the meantime, I would like everyone to consider this:

No society or culture has ever successfully survived by disengaging itself from its own financial responsibilities and dumping them on future generations without falling from historical grace. Not one. Does anyone with any sense really believe that the U.S. is somehow immune to this reality?

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