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Archive for the ‘Rats in a Sack’ Category

Trick or Treat! Looks like we have another Madoff on our hands.  Via Zero Hedge:

Regulators Investigating MF Global for Missing Money

By BEN PROTESS, MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED and SUSANNE CRAIG
9:55 p.m. | Updated
Federal regulators have discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money has gone missing from MF Global in recent days, prompting an investigation into the brokerage firm, which is run by Jon S. Corzine, the former New Jersey governor, several people briefed on the matter said on Monday.

The recognition that money was missing scuttled at the 11th hour an agreement to sell a major part of MF Global to a rival brokerage firm. MF Global had staked its survival on completing the deal. Instead, the New York-based firm filed for bankruptcy on Monday.

Regulators are examining whether MF Global diverted some customer funds to support its own trades as the firm teetered on the brink of collapse. (more)

According to this particular “Tyler Durden,” here’s how the MF Global scandal is different from the Bernie Madoff scandal: 

Thousands of MF clients are about to realize that money they thought they had, even if completely unencumbered with other assets, read pure cash, read money not at risk, is now gone forever, and they will have to wait years until the bankruptcy process determines if the claim deserves priority status to the unsecured bondholders. 

Shorter Tyler: At least the Madoff investors knew they were taking risks!  The Federal Reserve has taken MF Global off its list of primary dealers.  MF employees were not allowed on the commodities trading floors today. This particular scandal may cause a bank run, for real this time, because investors are slowly beginning to realize they can’t trust anyone on Wall Street.  And it’s about damn time people finally figured this out.

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our gardeners don’t look like Chance

It was just a matter of time:  Eight burglaries in our small-ish town within a matter of weeks.  I’m not talking smash-and-grabs: These were semi-professional jobs in which neighborhoods were cased and vulnerable homes identified.  Unlucky families came home after work to find everything of value stolen for resale on the black market, even their musical instruments.

As a result of this news we now set the security alarm system every time we leave the house.  I’ve been slow to get in the habit, because I grew up in a neighborhood where the doors were always unlocked.  Now I even lock the doors when I’m home.

We knew this was coming. After all we’ve been prepping for TEOTWAWKI  and both of us knew it would be accompanied by a heap of social disruption, including crime.   We’re smack in the middle of a long-expected recession/depression.  Unemployment in New Jersey is 9.2%, slightly higher than the national average, and that’s not counting discouraged workers or those whose unemployment benefits have run out.  If we were counting them, the unemployment rate would be 17%. Suffice it to say affluent, wooded exurban neighborhoods all over the country are sitting ducks.

Fortunately – though I don’t want these to be  the proverbial famous last words – I don’t think our home is very attractive to burglars.  The main reason is that our comings and goings are unpredictable.  Spooky frequently stops by the house in the middle of the day, and gardeners randomly come and go. These days I take random and regular days off and make sure my presence may be noted by anyone parked on the street, just in case.  I’ve banked plenty of vacation time and plan to use it.

Besides, anyone trying to break in would get an immediate rude awakening:  Not just the noise from the alarm but the fact that the cops would be there within 3 minutes.  Granted, as with any house plenty could be grabbed during two of those minutes, but in our case nothing worth going to prison for, we’ve made sure of that. Now that I’ve put the security system stickers on our windows the burglars will likely decide not to even bother.

Most burglars are smart enough NOT to attempt an armed robbery while their victims are at home. If it ever comes to that however, well, don’t get me started.  This house is armed to the teeth with kinetic weapons, and one of them is human.  Suffice it to say that anyone breaking and entering while we are home will be making a BIG mistake.  These are just a few of the things that help me sleep peacfully.

Crimedoctor.com:  How to make your home unappealing to burglars

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Just when I’d stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours,
Making my entrance again with my usual flair,
Sure of my lines,
No one is there.

Don’t you love farce?
My fault I fear.
I thought that you’d want what I want.
Sorry, my dear.

– “Send in the Clowns”

I can’t bear to watch or listen to the drama over the debt ceiling, any more than I can bear to watch the end of the movie “Dances With Wolves,” especially the part where they kill Two Socks the pet wolf. 

I also think it’s cruel to lie to the American people what’s really happening:

“People keep looking for off-ramps. They don’t exist,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, saying the government would be “running on fumes” after the deadline unless the limit was raised.

What Mr. Carney fails to communicate is that even if we do raise the debt ceiling, or even eliminate it entirely, Washington D.C. is still doomed and we will still suffer for it.

My heart breaks a little for all those freshmen congresscritters, new to the Floor, all fired up and ready to knock heads, only to discover they were too late. I also feel grief, believe it or not, for the old timers who feel like they fought the good fight, including those who still insist on fighting to the bitter end (Boehner, I’m looking at you).  Those are the ones, I suspect, who don’t believe in an afterlife for this country.

“The U.S. is dead. Long live America!”

I hope people come to understand that it doesn’t matter if the United States goes under.  The United States is a corporate entity, whose statutes overlay the Constitution, the Law of the Land.  Underneath the U.S. corporation of D.C. lies America the Republic, who will never die, just as underneath the rubble of the Soviet Union lay Russia, who was there throughout.  Russians called themselves Russian throughout the communist experiment, and Americans will still call themselves Americans when this corporate experiment is transformed. You can kill a regime, but you can’t kill an idea.  Those who think otherwise are outnumbered.

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From Zero Hedge today:

Sigma X Trading Suggests European Contagion May Be Shifting From Italy To The UK

. . . . Well, based on today’s action at Sigma X, the next, and probably biggest domino may be about to fall: the UK itself, because coming in at position #2, just behind UniCredit, we see Lloyds Banking. And if Lloyds goes, the ones that will follow are Barclays and RBS. At that point, the financial crisis goes global.

Are the dark pools aiming to deliver a broadside? Yikes, I really hope the folks at Zero Hedge are wrong because

1. I hear the coffee at that little cafe in Lloyds is really good; and

2. Barclays manages my 401K.

Who is  SigmaX?

Then again if Lloyds goes down it will be hugely symbolic because the company made its name, and its fortune, on the slave trade: 

(Wikipedia) The market began in Lloyd’s Coffee House, opened by Edward Lloyd around 1688 in Tower Street, London. This establishment was a popular place for sailors, merchants, and ship owners, and Lloyd catered to them with reliable shipping news. The shipping industry community frequented the place to discuss insurance deals among themselves . . . <snip> . . . Due to the focus on marine business, during the formative years of Lloyd’s (between 1688 and 1807), one of the primary sources of Lloyd’s business was the insurance of ships engaged in slave trading,[3] as Britain rapidly established itself as the chief slave trading power in the Atlantic. British shipping carried more than 3.25 million people into slavery,[4] meaning that by the end of the eighteenth century, slave trading had become one of the primary constituents of all British trade.

HMMMM. I wonder what “The Names” are doing now?  Unlimited liability, beetchez!!!  They’re only 14% of Lloyds financial capacity, supposedly.  But that’s impossible, that these Names should be allowed to lose money!!! (SNARK ALERT) Certainly they were given advance notice so they could cut and run . . .  or jump ship, if you’ll pardon the puns?

Nautical Phrases

 

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 Really I was just looking for an excuse to use the picture

DealBook: Berkshire Fires Back Against Sokol’s Lawyer

New York Times – ‎ By BEN PROTESS Berkshire Hathaway has escalated its war of words with its former executive, David L. Sokol, who resigned last month after buying shares in a specialty chemicals manufacturer while orchestrating a potential takeover of the company. . .
 
Know this:  Benefiting from insider trading is one of the perquisites of living among the Power Elite.  These high-level lackeys – yes, they’re just minions, not the Powers themselves –  don’t “time the markets,” they move them, and have since the invention of the stock market. When a formerly-untouchable minion falls out of favor s/he’s indicted for things s/he once did with impunity. 
 
We’re living in interesting times, witnessing a critical Keynesian Endpoint merged with a supersized financial bubble (derivatives) collapse.  Loans have and are still being called, and extraordinarily large sums of money have been pulled from Western banks, leaving said banks high and dry. Margins are collapsing, vultures are picking at the carcasses of failed businesses, and lawsuits are flying. Fortunately for my 401K high frequency trading algorithms are picking up the slack. 
 
Taxpayers are footing the bill for pretty much all of it. It was just a matter of time before some very rich people noticed they were getting screwed along with the rest and got really mad.  And they, unlike the rest of us, know where the perpetrators live.
  
Things were bound to go wrong, unintended consequences and all that. Sure enough, like rats in a sack high-level minions of the Powers That Be are beginning to go after each other to deflect the blame from themselves.  It won’t work:  Anyone with half a brain knows they were in it from the beginning!  It’s how they made their money and fashioned themselves as geniuses when really all they were was insiders and operatives who, after being tipped off, cashed in their chips five seconds before everything fell to pieces. 
  
Meanwhile the mainstream media is dutifully doing deflecting blame toward anyone and everyone BUT the perpetrators.  It was Bush’s fault, Obama’s fault, Clinton did it, “wars for oil,” reckless consumer spending, Barney Frank, “entitlements,” WAH WAH WAH oh, whateverthelivingfuck people are so FUCKING STUPID I CAN’T STAND IT.
 
For the not-so-stupid but credulous, there is the Krugman Apologist:

The fact is that what we’re experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. The policies that got us into this mess weren’t responses to public demand. They were, with few exceptions, policies championed by small groups of influential people — in many cases, the same people now lecturing the rest of us on the need to get serious. And by trying to shift the blame to the general populace, elites are ducking some much-needed reflection on their own catastrophic mistakes.

OK, it sounds about right.  It really is the Elites’ fault we’re in this mess.  Those Euro-weenies, intellectuals, and Very Important People were responsible for the financial and economic disasters in the United States and the European Union. Krugman forgets – or more like neglects – to mention that those Euroweenies, intellectuals and VIPs are for the most part all socialists. Krugman likes socialists, so instead he pinned the blame on, you guessed it, George W. Bush. 
 
You see, Krugman tells us,”those people” think they’re so smart but they’re really just stupid, out of touch, and immune to self-reflection.  So let’s blame them for it all, shall we?  Not so fast.  Granted, the pie-in-the-sky Globalist Master Plans were doomed from the gitgo, and the Power Elites have contributed mightily to this mess with their self-serving greed.  However, they alone did not “cause” the global financial crisis. 
 
Furthermore, the collapse of the global economy was not a “mistake.”  The raiders from the Enterprise profited quite nicely, thank you very much, and left taxpayers holding the bag. On purpose. 
 
The Powers That Be – and their minions – are not stupid.  They are brilliant. And the Powers are going to get away with it, AGAIN, already having left the country and their shocked and betrayed minions to the hungry, enraged crowds.  And that, dear readers, is the spectacle you’re witnessing today:  Abandoned minions whining and pointing fingers at each other.
 
Every financial bubble is a fleecing operation.  Every Wall Street market is a skimming operation.  Every fractional reserve banking scheme transfers real wealth – actual property, the only thing that matters – from the middle class to the super rich.  Get it?  
 
You have been sheared again, sheeple. Time to start over again with nothing. Unfortunately for the  corporate, financial, economic and political elites, this is the first Keynseyan Endpoint/Bubble-Pop to take place when practically everyone in the world has an internet connection and a cell phone, and anyone can be located by GPS. Now would be a good time for all good Watchers to set up a “Rats in a Sack” tag on their blogs, because this shit’s about to go down . . .
 
 

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