Archive for November, 2010

Global Currency Race: Germany is back in Pole Position

November 26, 2010

“Don’t call it a comeback…”
– LL Cool J

Editors Note:  Over the last 20 years the US and Europe have opted to stop manufacturing actual things, in favour of running Ponzi-style, get-rich-quick economies wholly based on speculation and worthless subprime paper sales. What was once the lowly teller window reserved for Third World African, Latin and Asian countries, EU orphan economies like Portugal, Greece and Ireland have now joined the queue begging at the altar of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

With the EURO single currency now permanently on the ropes, other light and middleweight economies in the Eurozone may also be joining that very same IMF queue. Meanwhile, the Teutonic Tiger has remained steady and is now in pole position to take China on head-to-head in the coming economic realignment of the early 21st century. Yes, you heard it right- the Deutsch Mark could be back… with a vengeance.

    Keiser: Germany has been quietly shoring up its reserves.

 
 

Time to dust off those old Deutsche Marks?

 

ECONOMICS 101: QUANTITATIVE EASING EXPLAINED FOR THE MASSES…

November 24, 2010

By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
Nov 25, 2010

Economics needn’t be so confusing to the non-Havard MBA grad. In short, this little animated cartoon sequence explains what the US Federal Reserve Bank is up to and how we got here- a highly educational animated segment…

 
     The cryptic economic policy known as “Quantitative Easing” is outlined here.

Of course, Quantitative Easing is simply running the US money printing press on overtime, an action which will ultimately reduce the value of the US dollar and re-position it for a new and dangerous inflationary cycle. You might ask yourself, “Why should anyone be concerned with macro economic policy?” Keep asking yourself that question when your weekly wage cheque is no longer worth the paper it’s printed on…

Special thanks for this story to newshound and 21st Century Wire researcher Victor Hernandez, he is also founder of www.web-trafficschool.com (don’t forget the dash).

Death to the Chicago Climate Exchange ($7.40 to a nickel per CO2 ton, the market has spoken)

November 19, 2010

By William Griesinger
www.masterresource.org
November 18, 2010

“One of the keystones of the Climate Change alarmist movement was its audacious attempt to create a functioning market by monetizing the atmospheric gas known as CO2…. Certainly, gaming the system has always been at the top on the agenda of the new green eco-trader.”

– Patrick Henningsen, “The Great Collapse of the Chicago Climate Exchange,” 21st Century Wire, August 28, 2010.

We were tipped off by the August 28th headline, “The Great Collapse of the Chicago Climate Exchange,” by Patrick Henningsen, editor of 21st Century Wire. And now it is official as reported by Chicago Business, Fox News , and Crain’s Chicago Business (sub. required): the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) is dead. Trading in carbon-dioxide (CO2) emission contracts at CCX has basically ceased with member emissions-reduction agreements expiring at the end of the year.

The death rattles have come with each price decline per ton of carbon credits. Compared to $7.40 per ton in May 2008 when cap-and-trade legislation was eagerly anticipated, CCX’s market price tanked to $0.10 per ton in August 2010 and half that last month.  So much for a contrived opportunity in a pretense  market.  What a difference a couple of years, a few scientific scandals, and old-fashioned political gridlock make.

Projections of carbon fortunes were based on the same hyped speculation by the IPCC that the planet's temperatures would suddenly rise (PHOTO: Patrick Henningsen)

Reuters reported in August that the CCE was facing significant layoffs and an operational scaleback only a few months after being acquired by publicly traded Intercontinental Exchange Inc (NYSE: ICE). ICE acquired CCX earlier this year in an all-cash deal totaling nearly $600 million, a shocking valuation given CCX’s lack of traction and a paucity of sustainable revenue (more on this later).

ICE is a nearly $1 billion revenue company and leading global operator of regulated futures exchanges and OTC markets for agricultural, credit, energy, currency and equity index contracts. In other words, ICE is a real-deal commodities exchange as opposed to the faux market for CO2. As an example of ICE’s scale, its Futures Europe unit clears trades in nearly half the world’s crude and refined oil futures, according to SEC filings.

Left Environmentalist Lament

It is fitting that real market forces have imposed their discipline on this Enron-like market, leaving climate alarmists in spin mode. Howard Learner, president of the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago, told Crain’s: “What CCX pricing sadly demonstrates is that unless there’s a regulatory cap on emissions, there’s no real market.” Well there you go! Learner’s admission describes rent-seeking in a nutshell.

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, is equally discouraged. “Economy-wide cap and trade died of what amounts to natural causes in Washington,” he stated in regard to CCS’s demise. Natural causes? What is so unnatural about the outcomes of freely acting buyers and sellers in a market? Is coercion natural? Why is it a perversity where the public and politicians gives a thumbs down to climate-scare fakery, Mr. Krupp?

Criticism of cap-and-trade is not confined to so-called “global warming skeptics.” As I pointed out in my June 9 post, mainstream environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth (FOE) have harshly criticized the proposed Kerry-Lieberman cap-and-trade legislation, issuing the scathing Ten Ways to Game the Carbon Market.

FOE’s guide concludes “carbon offsets are especially prone to corruption and fraud,” detailing “Ponzi Carbon” schemes among other derogatory indictments of cap-and-trade. Further, a FOE senior policy analyst details how many of the scams are already taking place today under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS). Why would an emissions exchange in the U.S. be any different? The answer, of course, is it wouldn’t.

Joe Romm at Climate Progress (see Appendix below) even panned cap-and-trade sausage-making before his betters at Center for American Progress told him to play ball with Obama et al. Romm did not mince words:

This proposal is a dead end — and an even deader starting point. Shame on NRDC, EDF, and WRI for backing it.

With this proposal, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership has officially made itself obsolete and irrelevant.

Romm caved and joined the losing team–and just maybe sold his alarmist, interventionist soul to the devil. James Hansen, on the other hand, would have nothing of the cap-and-trade mirage.

Rent-Seeking: Risky Business

The struggles of CCX provide yet another example of the pitfalls in following a “rent-seeking” model of doing business. Not only does it add considerably to the cost of doing business–government affairs work does not come cheap—but the payoffs are fickle.

Rent-seeking opportunists look to obtain a politically-created shield of protection from the normal competitive forces of real markets where success is measured on a firm’s ability to satisfy consumer-driven needs. Rent-seekers accomplish this via favorable political arrangements, legislative mandates, government subsidies and other protections resulting in the creation of distorted and artificial market conditions that would otherwise not exist absent such political manipulation.

Though history is replete with examples of rent-seeking enterprises (think the transcontinental railroads or early U.S. shipping industry per author Burton Folsom’s Myth of the Robber Barons), it’s difficult to imagine a more egregious rent-seeking scheme than that concocted around the “trading” of carbon and offset credits.

Additionally, the CCX version of rent-seeking included not only the usual government suspects but also multiple financial market players all hoping to cash in at the intersection of government mandated emissions limits and the trading platform believed capable of carrying it out.

“One of the keystones of the Climate Change alarmist movement was its audacious attempt to create a functioning market by monetizing the atmospheric gas known as CO2,” according to 21st Century Wire’s Henningsen, labeling it “a fantasy casino based on the doctrine of pure science fiction. He maintains, “Certainly, gaming the system has always been at the top on the agenda of the new green eco-trader”…
READ THE FULL STORY HERE:
http://www.masterresource.org/2010/11/death-chicago-climate-exchange/#more-12908

The Stench of American Hypocrisy

November 16, 2010

By Dr Paul Craig Roberts
OpEd News
November 14, 2010

Ten years of rule by the Bush and Obama regimes have seen the collapse of the rule of law in the United States. Is the American media covering this ominous and extraordinary story? No, the American media is preoccupied with the rule of law in Burma (Myanmar).

The military regime that rules Burma just released from house arrest the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The American media used the occasion of her release to get on Burma’s case for the absence of the rule of law. I’m all for the brave lady, but if truth be known, “freedom and democracy” America needs her far worse than does Burma.

I’m not an expert on Burma, but the way I see it the objection to a military government is that the government is not accountable to law. Instead, such a regime behaves as it sees fit and issues edicts that advance its agenda. Burma’s government can be criticized for not having a rule of law, but it cannot be criticized for ignoring its own laws. We might not like what the Burmese government does, but, precisely speaking, it is not behaving illegally.

In contrast, the United States government claims to be a government of laws, not of men, but when the executive branch violates the laws that constrain it, those responsible are not held accountable for their criminal actions. As accountability is the essence of the rule of law, the absence of accountability means the absence of the rule of law.

America's traditional public stance as the progenator of freedom and democracy has become parody of its former self.

The list of criminal actions by presidents Bush and Obama, Vice President Cheney, the CIA, the NSA, the US military, and other branches of the government is long and growing. For example, both president Bush and vice president Cheney violated US and international laws against torture. Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union responded to Bush’s recent admission that he authorized torture with calls for a criminal investigation of Bush’s crime.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, the ACLU reminded the US Department of Justice (sic)that “a nation committed to the rule of law cannot simply ignore evidence that its most senior leaders authorized torture.”

Rob Freer of Amnesty International said that Bush’s admission “to authorizing acts which constitute torture under international law” and which constitute “a crime under international law,” puts the US government “under obligation to investigate and to bring those responsible to justice.”

The ACLU and Amnesty International do not want to admit it, but the US government shed its commitment to the rule of law a decade ago when the US launched its naked aggression — war crimes under the Nuremberg standard — against Afghanistan and Iraq on the basis of lies and deception.

The US government’s contempt for the rule of law took another step when President Bush violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and had the National Security Agency bypass the FISA court and spy on Americans without warrants. The New York Times is on its high horse about the rule of law in Burma, but when a patriot revealed to the Times that Bush was violating US law, the Times’ editors sat on the leak for one year until after Bush was safely re-elected.

Holder, of course, will not attempt to hold Bush accountable for the crime of torture. Indeed, Assistant US Attorney John Durham has just cleared the CIA of accountability for its crime of destroying the videotape evidence of the US government’s illegal torture of detainees, a felony under US law…
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE 

Teenagers who text up 120 times a day ‘are more likely to have had sex, use drugs and drink alcohol’

November 9, 2010

Editor’s Note: This new US study unveiled in the UK Mail can also be applied to Britain and only confirms what we have suspected for a while now: namely that it’s like, much more bett’a to be on contract than on pay-as-you-go, innit?

By Daily Mail Reporter
Nov 9, 2010

Hyper-texting and hyper-networking are more common among children from poorly educated and single-mother households, U.S. study finds

Teenagers who text 120 times a day or more are more likely to have had sex or used alcohol and drugs than kids who don’t send as many messages, according to provocative new research.

The study’s authors say they have seen an apparent link between excessive messaging and this kind of risky behaviour.

While researchers say they aren’t suggesting that ‘hyper-texting’ leads to sex, drinking or drugs, the study concludes that a significant number of teens are very susceptible to peer pressure and also have permissive or absent parents, said Dr Scott Frank, the study’s lead author.

‘If parents are monitoring their kids’ texting and social networking, they’re probably monitoring other activities as well,’ said Dr Frank, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Low user tariffs: hungry for a top up on minutes, these poor blokes are finding it hard to get any action after hours. Maybe they're wearing the wrong track suits?

Dr Frank was scheduled to present the study today at a meeting of the American Public Health Association in Denver.

The study was done at 20 public high schools in the Cleveland area last year, and is based on confidential paper surveys of more than 4,200 students.

It found that about one in five students were hyper-texters and about one in nine are hyper-networkers – those who spend three or more hours a day on Facebook a .nd other social networking websites. Around one in 25 fall into both categories

Hyper-texting and hyper-networking were more common among girls, minorities, kids whose parents have less education and students from a single-mother household, the study found.

Heavy user tariff: chavs who work less, text more, are more sexually active. Go figure.

Dr Frank’s study is billed as one of the first studies to look at texting and social networking and whether they are linked to actual sexual intercourse or to other risky behaviours.

‘This study demonstrates that it’s a legitimate question to explore,’ said Douglas Gentile, who runs the Media Research Lab at Iowa State University.

The study found those who text at least 120 times a day are nearly three-and-a-half times more likely to have had sex than their peers who don’t text that much…
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Scientists unveil moving 3D holograms

November 5, 2010

By Clive Cookson
Financial Times
Nov 4, 2010

More than 30 years after the famous Star Wars movie scene in which a hologram of Princess Leia appealed for help from Obi-Wan Kenobi, US researchers have unveiled holographic technology to transmit and view moving three-dimensional images.

The scientists at the University of Arizona say their prototype “holographic three-dimensional telepresence” is the world’s first practical 3D transmission system that works without requiring viewers to wear special glasses or other devices. The research is published in the journal Nature.

Potential applications range from telemedicine and teleconferencing to mass entertainment.

The 3D holographic communication concept was unveiled in the 1977 cinema hit Star Wars.

“Holographic telepresence means we can record a three-dimensional image in one location and show it in another location, in real-time, anywhere in the world,” said Nasser Peyghambarian, project leader…
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

INKJET CARTRIDGE BOMBER: THE UPS TERROR FLIGHT FROM YEMEN THAT NEVER WAS

November 2, 2010

Editor’s Note:  Last Christmas gave us the sinister Y-front “Underwear Bomber” who, after links to the intelligence agencies were exposed (google: underwear bomber patsy), has since disappeared from the theatre of global terror. The result of this elaborate terror hoax last year was the snap roll-out of a new generation of full body X-Ray scanners in airports worldwide. Make no mistake, security theatre is a big global business and is now one of the only growth businesses amidst our current global recession. After a mere cursory review of this latest insidious ‘bomb plot’ out of the UK and Yemen, we have been hard pressed to find any bit of the story that shows real explosives or reveals anything to the public above the level of hoax. And here we go again for Halloween 2010; we are given the latest faceless, anonymous (and mythical) terror demon and media darling: “The Inkjet/Toner Cartridge Bomber” (was it inkjet or toner? Hmm).

Obama will classify it as a “”Credible Terroristic Threat“. The crowd jeers and awes. Question: have we finally lost the (terror) plot? For those who are able to read between the lines, the answers should come as no surprise at all. The only problem with this latest terror episode is the obvious lack of an actual terror plot- or any genuine evidence to support one. Not a major inconvenience for major newspaper and TV editors though. The lack of a real story does not seem to have stopped every major network in the US, UK and Europe from portraying this little vignette as if it was some kind of real ‘Al Qaeda’ event. As we previously reported, US President Obama has already taken a string out of Bush Jr’s bow by hyping the terror alert to gain a little bit of much-needed political traction before the mid-term elections. Nevermind that the tread on these terror tires is getting more worn down by the day- it’s still a big tool in the 21st century State-sponsored tool box. More than this however, notice the epic mainstream media reaction to this non-event which almost certainly begs the crucial question: what are all these faux terror announcements really about?


    Clue: if you have ever read Orwell’s classic novel 1984, you will have heard “Attention: alert, alert! The terrorist Goldstein has been spotted in your area”. 

More likely a scenario might be that a financial terrorist has gained from this recent cartridge-bomber non-event. A hedge fund, or ‘put options’ shorting United Parcel Service stock would yield a financial windfall from such an Al Qaeda-related event, much the same way American Airlines and United stocks were targeted in the days before 911, followed by millions in profit that were in fact made after 911 by a select group of individuals. The global shipping business is substantial especially after the dotcom/online shopping boom has positioned these private freight companies- UPS, DHL, FedEx ahead of state-owned monopolies. In a similar event this week, Greece has suspended all air freight  shipments for 48 hrs, possibly more. So look for a realignment of this industry… under the guise of the war on terror. News hounds will eventually work out any evidence if it is there. Watch this space. Meanwhile…

What Really Happened
Nov 1, 2010

Obama’s  “scare the Americans into voting Democrat”  plan is already in trouble. The official story on Friday October 29th was that an unnamed ally issued a warning for British authorities to be on the lookout for a suspicious package sent from Yemen to Great Britain on a UPS flight. A search of the UPS flight on the ground in Britain yielded a package containing a printer toner cartridge sprayed with a white substance that looks like plastic Christmas tree snow.

BE VERY AFRAID: Is this Obama's notorious "cartridge of death"? Now millions of graphic designers, printers and home workers are now in league with Al Qaeda.

To make the “toner cartridge of death” look even scarier, a circuit board was attached to the outside with wires. Careful analysis of the card itself suggests it is a circuit card from a TV set, most likely the tuner, circa 1980s.

How scary does this CNN featured recycled, archane gameboy-type circuit board look? Experts admit, "not very".

Note carefully there is no battery to power this object, nor were any detonators found.

The initial reports of the toner cartridge reported no explosives were found in it.

Of course, Obama claimed exactly the opposite, which left the BBC struggling to placate the President while not allowing themselves to look like they were changing the original story to do it.

   Obama did not miss another opportunity to hype the terror threat level again.

But the story gets better… the original claim was that the suspicious package originated in Yemen and flew to Britain on an aircraft owned by UPS, and the media showed us all the video of a UPS aircraft being stopped and searched on the runway in Britain.

FALSE STORY: The UPS 'terror' flight that never was.

But there is a problem(Washington, we have a problem). There are no UPS aircraft flying in or out of Yemen.

UPS own website (from before the so-called terror incident) does not list Yemen as one of their service regions.

A PDF file (which includes the history of the document from weeks ago) listing of all the international airports the UPS aircraft fleet flies to does not list Yemen as a destination!

In short, there was not and could not be a UPS aircraft flying out of Yemen.

UPS uses a subcontractor, Sun Tours, to handle shipping in and out of Yemen. Sun Tours sends their shipments via Yemenia Air, and Yemenia Air’s Cargo Director reports there were no shipments sent through Yemen to Chicago for the 48 hours prior to the “discovery” of the toner cartridge in Britain.

A second claim that a flight from Dubai carried packages from Yemen has been refuted by the United Arab Emirates� Civil Aviation Authority.

Barry: needs votes to stave off a midterm election disaster.

In short, a toner cartridge that cannot explode shows up on a UPS jet which could not have come from Yemen, and Obama pounds it for all its worth trying to save the Democrats next Tuesday. Frankly I think Americans should be outraged not that Obama tried such a stunt, but that after all the times Bush was caught using terror scares for political gain that Obama thinks you are all stupid enough to fall for it again.

If tonight’s polls are accurate, you weren’t and you didn’t, and Obama may have just screwed his own party to the point where (like the Republicans before them) they are all praying for Diebold(electronic voting machines) to save them. 

 —

21st Century Wire would like to mention a special thanks to the InfoHighwayman for bringing this story to our attention.