F Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy

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Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy

While I believe in usefulness of capital markets, it is clear that they are double edge sword and that banks "in a long run" tend to behave like sociopathic individuals. Mr. Capone may have something to say about danger of banks :-).That means that  growth of financial sector represents a direct threat to the stability of the society. Positive feedback loops creates one financial crisis after another with the increasing magnitude leading up to a collapse of financial system like happened in 1927 and 2008.

News Casino Capitalism Recommended Links  Stability is destabilizing: The idea of Minsky moment Corruption of Regulators Quiet coup
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Principal-agent problem Numbers racket Criminal negligence in financial regulation Corruption of FED Invisible Hand Hypothesis
The “Too Big To Fail” Problem In Goldman Sachs we trust Citi - The bank that couldn’t shoot straight JPMorgan AIG collapse Lehman
Free Markets Newspeak as Opium for regulators Derivatives Lobby Corrupts Congress Lobbying and the Financial Crisis Control Fraud
(crisis of corporate governance)
Stock Market with buybacks as a Ponzi scheme Derivatives
Small government smoke screen Financial Bonuses as Money Laundering Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Corporatism   Financial obesity
Webliography of heterodox economists HFT Aleynikov vs. Goldman Sachs Casino Capitalism Dictionary Financial Humor Etc
  "Minsky's financial instability hypothesis depends critically on what amounts to a sociological insight. People change their minds about taking risks. They don't make a one-time rational judgment about debt use and stock market exposure and stick to it. Instead, they change their minds over time. And history is quite clear about how they change their minds. The longer the good times endure, the more people begin to see wisdom in risky strategies."

The Cost of Capitalism: Understanding Market Mayhem and Stabilizing our Economic Future, by Robert Barbera

The flaw with Capitalism is that it creates its own positive feedback loop, snowballing to the point where the accumulation of wealth and power hurts people — eventually even those at the top of the food chain. ”

Uncle Billy Cunctator
In comment to Economic Donkeys

 
  Banks are a clear case of market failure and their employees at the senior level have basically become the biggest bank robbers of all time. As for basing pay on current revenues and not profits over extended periods of time, then that is a clear case of market failure --  
  The banksters have been able to sell the “talent” myth to justify their outsized pay because they are the only ones able to deliver the type of GDP growth the U.S. economy needs in the short term, even if that kills the U.S. economy in the long term. You’ll be gone, I’ll be gone.  
  Unfortunately, many countries go broke pursuing war, if not financially, then morally (are the two different? – this post suggests otherwise).

I occurs to me that the U.S. is also in that flock; interventions justified by grand cause built on fallacy, the alpha and omega of failure. Is the financial apparatchik (or Nomenklatura, a term I like which, as many from the Soviet era, succinctly describes aspects of our situation today) fated also to the trash heap, despite the best efforts of the Man of the hour, Ben Bernanke?

 

Introduction

Financialization is a Damocles sword hanging over the neoliberal society

While I believe in usefulness of capital markets, it is clear that they are double edge sword and that banks "in a long run" tend to behave like sociopathic individuals. Mr. Capone may have something to say about danger of banks :-).That means that growth of financial sector represents a direct threat to the stability of the society (Keynesianism and the Great Recession )

Without adult supervision, as it were, a financial sector that was already inherently unstable went wild. When the subprime assets were found to be toxic since they were based on mortgages on which borrowers had defaulted, highly indebted or leveraged banks that had bought these now valueless securities had little equity to repay their creditors or depositors who now came after them. This quickly led to their bankruptcy, as in the case of Lehman Brothers, or to their being bailed out by government, as was the case with most of the biggest banks. The finance sector froze up, resulting in a recession—a big one—in the real economy.

Neoliberal revolution, or, as Simon Johnson called it after "quite coup" (Atlantic), brought political power to the financial oligarchy deposed after the New Deal. Deregulation naturally followed, with especially big role played by corrupt Clinton administration.  Positive feedback loops creates one financial crisis after another with the increasing magnitude. "Saving and loans" crisis followed by dot-com crisis of  2000, which in turn followed by the collapse of financial system in 2008, which looks somewhat similar to what happened in 1927.  No prominent financial honcho, who was instrumental in creating "subprime crisis" was jailed.  Most remained filthy rich.

Unless the society puts severe limits on their actions like was done during New Deal,  financial firms successfully subvert the regulation mechanisms and take the society hostage.  But periodic purges with relocation of the most active promoters of "freedom for banks" (aka free market fundamentalism) under the smoke screen of "free market" promotion does not solve the problem of positive feedback loops that banks create by mere existence. That's difficult to do while neoliberal ideology and related neoclassical economy dominates the society thinking (via brainwashing), with universities playing especially negative role -- most of economics departments are captured by neoliberals who censor any heretics. So year after year brainwashing students enter the society without understanding real dangers that neoliberalism brought for them.  Including lack of meaningful employment opportunities.

Of course, most of high level officers of leading finance institutions which caused the crisis of 2008-2009 as a psychological type are as close to  gangsters as one can get. But there is something in their actions that does not depend on individual traits (although many of them definitely can be classified as psychopaths), and is more related to their social position.  This situation is somewhat similar to Bolsheviks coup d'état of 1917 which resulted in capturing Russia by this ideological sect.  And in this sense quite coupe of 1980 is also irreversible in the same sense as Bolsheviks revolution was irreversible:  the "occupation" of the country by a fanatical sect lasts until the population rejects the ideology with its (now apparent) utopian claims.

Bolshevism which lasted 75 years, spend in such zombie state the last two decades (if we assume 1991 as the year of death of Bolshevism, its ideology was dead much earlier -- the grave flaws in it were visible from late 60th, if not after the WWII).  But only  when their ideology was destroyed both by inability to raise the standard of living of the population and by the growing neoliberal ideology as an alternative (and a new, more powerful then Marxism high-demand cult) Bolsheviks started to lose the grip on their power in the country. As a result Bolsheviks lost the power only in 1991, or more correctly switched camps and privatized the country. If not inaptness of their last General Secretary, they probably could last more. In any case after the ideology collapsed, the USSR disintegrated (or more correctly turn by national elites, each of which wanted their peace of the pie).

The sad truth is that the mere growth of financial sector creates additional positive feedback loops and increases structural instability within both the financial sector itself and the society at large. Dynamic systems with strong positive feedback loops not compensated by negative feedback loops are unstable. As a result banks and other financial institution periodically generate a deep, devastating crisis. This is the meaning of famous Hyman Minsky phrase "stability is destabilizing".

In other words, financial apparatchiks (or Financial Nomenklatura, a term from the Soviet era, which succinctly describes aspects of our situation today) drive the country off the cliff because they do not have any countervailing forces, by the strength of their political influence and unsaturable greed. Although the following analogy in weaker then analogy with dynamic systems with positive feedback loops, outsized financial sector can be viewed in  biological terms as cancer.

Cancer, known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a broad group of diseases involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invading nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the body through the lymphatic system or bloodstream. Not all tumors are cancerous; benign tumors do not invade neighboring tissues and do not spread throughout the body. There are over 200 different known cancers that affect humans.[1]

Like certain types of cancer they depend of weakening "tumor suppressor genes"  (via "Quiet coup" mechanism of acquiring dominant political power) which allow then to engage in uncontrolled growth, destroying healthy cells (and first of all local manufacturing).   

The other suspicion is the unchecked financialization always goes too far and the last N percent of financial activity absorbs much more resources (especially intellectual resources) and creates more potential instability than its additional efficiency-benefits (often zero or negative) can justify. It is hard to imagine that a Hedge Fund Operator of the Year does anything that is even remotely socially useful to justify his enormous (and lightly taxed) compensation. It is pure wealth redistribution up based on political domination of financial oligarchy.  Significant vulnerabilities  within the shadow banking system and derivatives are plain vanilla socially destructive. Yet they persist due to inevitable political power grab by financial oligarchy  (Quiet coup).

Again, I would like to stress that this problem of the oversized financial sector which produces one devastating crisis after another   is closely related to the problem of a positive feedback loops. And the society in which banks are given free hand inevitably degrades into "socialism for banks"  or "casino capitalism" -- a type of neoliberalism with huge inequality and huge criminality of top banking officers.  

Whether we can do without private banks is unclear, but there is sound evidence that unlike growth of manufacturing, private financial sector growth is dangerous for the society health and perverts society goals.  Like cult groups the financial world does a terrific job of "shunning" the principled individuals and suppressing dissent (by capturing and cultivating neoliberal stooges in all major university departments and press),  so self-destructing tendencies after they arise can't be stopped within the framework of neoliberalism. In a way financial firm is like sociopath inevitable produces its  trail of victims (and sociopaths might be useful in battles exactly due to the qualities such as ability to remain cool in dangerous situation, that make them dangerous in the normal course of events).

This tendency of society with unregulated or lightly regulated financial sector toward self-destruction was first formulated as "Minsky instability hypothesis" -- and outstanding intellectual achievement of American economic Hyman Minsky (September 23, 1919 – October 24, 1996). Who BTW was pretty much underappreciated (if not suppressed) during his lifetime because his views were different from  orthodox (and false) neoclassic economic theory which dominates US universities, Like flat Earth theory was enforce by Catholic church before, it is fiercely enforced by an army of well paid neoliberal economics, those Jesuits of modern era. Who prosecute heretics who question flat Earth theory even more efficiently then their medieval counterparts; the only difference is that they do not burn the literally, only figuratively ;-)

Minsky financial instability hypothesis

Former Washington University in St. Louis economics professor Hyman P. Minsky had predicted the Great Recession decades before it happened.  Hyman Minsky was a real student of the Great Depression, while Bernanke who widely is viewed as a scholar who studied the Great Depression, in reality was a charlatan, who just tried to explain the Great Depression from the positions of neo-classical economy. That's a big difference.

Minsky instability hypothesis ("stability is destabilizing" under capitalism) that emerged from his analysis of the Great Depression was based on intellectual heritage of three great thinkers in economics (my presentation is partially based on an outstanding lecture by Steve Keen Lecture 6 on Minsky, Financial Instability, the Great Depression & the Global Financial Crisis). We can talk about three source of influence, there authors writing of which touched the same subject from similar positions and were the base of Hyman Minsky great advance in understanding of mechanics of development of financial crisis under capitalism and the critical role of financial system in it (neoclassical economics ignores the existence of financial system in its analysis): 

  1. Karl Marx influence
  2. Irving Fisher influence
  3. Joseph Schumpeter influence

Karl Marx influence

Minsky didn't follow the conventional version of Marxism  . And it was dangerous for him to do so due to McCarthysm. Even mentioning of Marx might lead to strakism fromthe academy those years.  McCarthy and his followers in academy did not understand the difference between Marx great analysis of capitalism and his utopian vision of the future. Impliedly this witch hunt helped to establish hegemony of neoclassical economy in economic departments in the USA.

While Minsky did not cited Marx in his writings and did use Marx's Labor Theory of Value his thinking was definitely influenced by Marx’s critique of  finance. We now know that he read and admired the Capital. And that not accidental due to the fact that his parents were Mensheviks -- a suppressed after Bolshevik revolution more moderate wing of Russian Social Democratic Party that rejected the idea of launching the socialist revolution in Russia --  in their opinion Russia needed first to became a capitalist country and get rid of remnants of feudalism. They escaped from Soviet Russia when Mensheviks started to be prosecuted by Bolsheviks.

And probably the main influence on Minsky was not Marx's discussion  of finance in Volume I of Capital with a "commodity" model of money, but critical remarks scattered in   Volumes II & III (which were not edited by Marx by compiled posthumously by Engels), where he was really critical of big banks as well as Marx's earlier works (Grundrisse, Theories of Surplus Value) where Marx was scathing about finance:

"A high rate of interest can also indicate, as it did in 1857, that the country is undermined by the roving cavaliers of credit who can afford to pay a high interest because they pay it out of other people's pocket* (whereby, however, they help to determine the rate of interest  for all) and meanwhile they live in grand style on anticipated profits. 

Irving Fisher influence

The second source on which Minsky based his insights was Irving Fisher. Irving Fisher’s reputation destroyed by wrong predictions on stock market prices. In aftermath, developed theory to explain the crash and published it in his book  "The Debt Deflation Theory of Great Depressions". His main points are:

According to Fisher two key disequilibrium forces that push economic into the next economic crisis are debt and subsequent deflation

Joseph Schumpeter influence

Joseph Schumpeter was Joseph Schumpeter has more positive view of capitalism than the other two. He authored the theory of creative destruction as a path by which capitalism achieves higher and higher productivity. He capitalism as necessarily unstable, but for him this was a positive feature -- instability of capitalism the source of its creativity. His view of capitalism was highly dynamic and somewhat resembles the view of Marx (who also thought that capitalism destroys all previous order and create a new one):

Unlike Marx, who thought that the periodic crisis of overproduction  is the source of instability (as well as  gradual absolute impoverishment of workers), Minsky assumed that the key source of that instability of capitalist system is connected with the cycles of business borrowing and fractional bank lending, when "good times" lead to excessive borrowing leading to high leverage and overproduction and thus to eventual debt crisis (The Alternative To Neoliberalism ):

Minsky on capitalism:

The idea of Minsky moment is related to the fact that the fractional reserve banking periodically causes credit collapse when the leveraged credit expansion goes into reverse. And mainstream economists do not want to talk about the fact that increasing confidence breeds increased leverage. So financial stability breeds instability and subsequent financial crisis. All actions to guarantee a market rise, ultimately guarantee it's destruction because greed will always take advantage of a "sure thing" and push it beyond reasonable boundaries.  In other words, marker players are no rational and assume that it would be foolish not to maximize leverage in a market which is going up. So the fractional reserve banking mechanisms ultimately and ironically lead to over lending and guarantee the subsequent crisis and the market's destruction. Stability breed instability.

That means that fractional reserve banking based economic system with private players (aka capitalism) is inherently unstable. And first of all because  fractional reserve banking is debt based. In order to have growth it must create debt. Eventually the pyramid of debt crushes and crisis hit. When the credit expansion fuels asset price bubbles, the dangers for the financial sector and the real economy are substantial because this way the credit boom bubble is inflated which eventually burst. The damage done to the economy by the bursting of credit boom bubbles is significant and long lasting.

Blissex said...

«When credit growth fuels asset price bubbles, the dangers for the financial sector and the real economy are much more substantial.»

So M Minsky 50 years ago and M Pettis 15 years ago (in his "The volatility machine") had it right? Who could have imagined! :-)

«In the past decades, central banks typically have taken a hands-off approach to asset price bubbles and credit booms.»

If only! They have been feeding credit-based asset price bubbles by at the same time weakening regulations to push up allowed capital-leverage ratios, and boosting the quantity of credit as high as possible, but specifically most for leveraged speculation on assets, by allowing vast-overvaluations on those assets.

Central banks have worked hard in most Anglo-American countries to redistribute income and wealth from "inflationary" worker incomes to "non-inflationary" rentier incomes via hyper-subsidizing with endless cheap credit the excesses of financial speculation in driving up asset prices.

Not very hands-off at all.

Steve Keen is probably the most well know researcher who tried to creates model of capitalist economy based on Minsky work (  http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/manifesto/ )

John Kay in his January 5 2010 FT column very aptly explained the systemic instability of financial sector hypothesis: 

The credit crunch of 2007-08 was the third phase of a larger and longer financial crisis. The first phase was the emerging market defaults of the 1990s. The second was the new economy boom and bust at the turn of the century. The third was the collapse of markets for structured debt products, which had grown so rapidly in the five years up to 2007.

The manifestation of the problem in each phase was different – first emerging markets, then stock markets, then debt. But the mechanics were essentially the same. Financial institutions identified a genuine economic change – the assimilation of some poor countries into the global economy, the opportunities offered to business by new information technology, and the development of opportunities to manage risk and maturity mismatch more effectively through markets. Competition to sell products led to wild exaggeration of the pace and scope of these trends. The resulting herd enthusiasm led to mispricing – particularly in asset markets, which yielded large, and largely illusory, profits, of which a substantial fraction was paid to employees.

Eventually, at the end of each phase, reality impinged. The activities that once seemed so profitable – funding the financial systems of emerging economies, promoting start-up internet businesses, trading in structured debt products – turned out, in fact, to have been a source of losses. Lenders had to make write-offs, most of the new economy stocks proved valueless and many structured products became unmarketable. Governments, and particularly the US government, reacted on each occasion by pumping money into the financial system in the hope of staving off wider collapse, with some degree of success. At the end of each phase, regulators and financial institutions declared that lessons had been learnt. While measures were implemented which, if they had been introduced five years earlier, might have prevented the most recent crisis from taking the particular form it did, these responses addressed the particular problem that had just occurred, rather than the underlying generic problems of skewed incentives and dysfunctional institutional structures.

The public support of markets provided on each occasion the fuel needed to stoke the next crisis. Each boom and bust is larger than the last. Since the alleviating action is also larger, the pattern is one of cycles of increasing amplitude.

I do not know what the epicenter of the next crisis will be, except that it is unlikely to involve structured debt products. I do know that unless human nature changes or there is fundamental change in the structure of the financial services industry – equally improbable – there will be another manifestation once again based on naive extrapolation and collective magical thinking. The recent crisis taxed to the full – the word tax is used deliberately – the resources of world governments and their citizens. Even if there is will to respond to the next crisis, the capacity to do so may not be there.

The citizens of that most placid of countries, Iceland, now backed by their president, have found a characteristically polite and restrained way of disputing an obligation to stump up large sums of cash to pay for the arrogance and greed of other people. They are right. We should listen to them before the same message is conveyed in much more violent form, in another place and at another time. But it seems unlikely that we will.

We made a mistake in the closing decades of the 20th century. We removed restrictions that had imposed functional separation on financial institutions. This led to businesses riddled with conflicts of interest and culture, controlled by warring groups of their own senior employees. The scale of resources such businesses commanded enabled them to wield influence to create a – for them – virtuous circle of growing economic and political power. That mistake will not be easily remedied, and that is why I view the new decade with great apprehension. In the name of free markets, we created a monster that threatens to destroy the very free markets we extol.

While Hyman Minsky was the first clearly formulate the financial instability hypothesis, Keynes also understood this dynamic pretty well. He postulated that a world with a large financial sector and an excessive emphasis on the production of investment products creates instability both in terms of output and prices. In other words it automatically tends to generate credit and asset bubbles.  The key driver is the fact that financial professionals generally risk other people’s money and due to this fact have asymmetrical incentives:

This asymmetry is not a new observation of this systemic problem. Andrew Jackson noted it in much more polemic way long ago:

“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the grace of the Eternal God, will rout you out.”

This asymmetrical incentives ensure that the financial system is structurally biased toward taking on more risk than what should be taken. In other words it naturally tend to slide to the casino model, the with omnipresent reckless gambling as the primary and the most profitable mode of operation while an opportunities last.  The only way to counter this is to throw sand into the wheels of financial mechanism:  enforce strict regulations, limit money supplies and periodically jail too enthusiastic bankers. The latter is as important or even more important as the other two because bankers tend to abuse "limited liability" status like no other sector.

Asset inflation over the past 10 years and the subsequent catastrophe incurred is a way classic behavior of dynamic system with strong positive feedback loop.  Such behavior does not depends of personalities of bankers or policymakers, but is an immanent property of this class of dynamic systems. And the main driving force here was deregulation. So its important that new regulation has safety feature which make removal of it more complicated and requiring bigger majority like is the case with constitutional issues.

Another fact was the fact that due to perverted incentives, accounting in the banks was fraudulent from the very beginning and it was fraudulent on purpose.  Essentially accounting in banks automatically become as bad as law enforcement permits. This is a classic case of control fraud and from prevention standpoint is make sense to establish huge penalties for auditors, which might hurt healthy institutions but help to ensure that the most fraudulent institution lose these bank charter before affecting the whole system.  With the anti-regulatory zeal of Bush II administration the level of auditing became too superficial, almost non-existent. I remember perverted dances with Sarbanes–Oxley when it was clear from the very beginning that the real goal is not to strengthen accounting but to earn fees and to create as much profitable red tape as possible, in perfect Soviet bureaucracy style.

Deregulation also increases systemic risk by influencing the real goals of financial organizations. At some point of deregulation process the goal of higher remuneration for the top brass becomes self-sustainable trend  and replaces all other goals of the financial organization. This is the essence of  Martin Taylor’s, the former chief executive of Barclays,  article FT.com - Innumerate bankers were ripe for a reckoning in the Financial Times (Dec 15, 2009), which is worth reading in its entirety:

City people have always been paid well relative to others, but megabonuses are quite new. From my own experience, in the mid-1990s no more than four or five employees of Barclays’ then investment bank were paid more than £1m, and no one got near £2m. Around the turn of the millennium across the market things began to take off, and accelerated rapidly – after a pause in 2001-03 – so that exceptionally high remuneration, not just individually, but in total, was paid out between 2004 and 2007.

Observers of financial services saw unbelievable prosperity and apparently immense value added. Yet two years later the whole industry was bankrupt. A simple reason underlies this: any industry that pays out in cash colossal accounting profits that are largely imaginary will go bust quickly. Not only has the industry – and by extension societies that depend on it – been spending money that is no longer there, it has been giving away money that it only imagined it had in the first place. Worse, it seems to want to do it all again.

What were the sources of this imaginary wealth?

In the last two of these the bank was not receiving any income, merely “booking revenues”. How could they pay this non-existent wealth out in cash to their employees? Because they had no measure of cash flow to tell them they were idiots, and because everyone else was doing it. Paying out 50 per cent of revenues to staff had become the rule, even when the “revenues” did not actually consist of money.

In the next phase instability is amplified by the way governments and central banks respond to crises caused by credit bubble: the state has powerful means to end a recession, but the policies it uses give rise to the next phase of instability, the next bubble…. When money is virtually free – or, at least, at 0.5 per cent – traders feel stupid if they don’t leverage up to the hilt. Thus previous bubble and crash become a dress rehearsal for the next.

Resulting self-sustaining "boom-bust" cycle is very close how electronic systems with positive feedback loop behave and   cannot be explained by neo-classical macroeconomic models. Like with electronic devices the financial institution in this mode are unable to provide the services that are needed.

As Minsky noted long ago (sited from Stephen Mihm  Why capitalism fails Boston Globe):

Modern finance, he argued, was far from the stabilizing force that mainstream economics portrayed: rather, it was a system that created the illusion of stability while simultaneously creating the conditions for an inevitable and dramatic collapse.

...our whole financial system contains the seeds of its own destruction. “Instability,” he wrote, “is an inherent and inescapable flaw of capitalism.”

Minsky’s vision might have been dark, but he was not a fatalist; he believed it was possible to craft policies that could blunt the collateral damage caused by financial crises. But with a growing number of economists eager to declare the recession over, and the crisis itself apparently behind us, these policies may prove as discomforting as the theories that prompted them in the first place. Indeed, as economists re-embrace Minsky’s prophetic insights, it is far from clear that they’re ready to reckon with the full implications of what he saw.

And he understood the roots of the current credit bubble much better that neoclassical economists like Bernanke: 
As people forget that failure is a possibility, a “euphoric economy” eventually develops, fueled by the rise of far riskier borrowers - what [Minsky] called speculative borrowers, those whose income would cover interest payments but not the principal; and those he called “Ponzi borrowers,” those whose income could cover neither, and could only pay their bills by borrowing still further.

As these latter categories grew, the overall economy would shift from a conservative but profitable environment to a much more freewheeling system dominated by players whose survival depended not on sound business plans, but on borrowed money and freely available credit.

Minsky’s financial instability hypothesis suggests that when optimism is high and ample funds are available for investment, investors tend to migrate from the safe hedge end of the Minsky spectrum to the risky speculative and Ponzi end. Indeed, in the current crisis, investors tried to raise returns by increasing leverage and switching to financing via short-term—sometimes overnight— borrowing (Too late to learn?):

In the church of Friedman, inflation was the ol' devil tempting the good folk; the 1980s seemed to prove that, let loose, it would cause untold havoc on the populace. But, as Barbera notes:

The last five major global cyclical events were the early 1990s recession - largely occasioned by the US Savings & Loan crisis, the collapse of Japan Inc after the stock market crash of 1990, the Asian crisis of the mid-1990s, the fabulous technology boom/bust cycle at the turn of the millennium, and the unprecedented rise and then collapse for US residential real estate in 2007-2008. All five episodes delivered recessions, either global or regional. In no case was there a significant prior acceleration of wages and general prices. In each case, an investment boom and an associated asset market ran to improbable heights and then collapsed. From 1945 to 1985, there was no recession caused by the instability of investment prompted by financial speculation - and since 1985 there has been no recession that has not been caused by these factors.
Thus, meet the devil in Minsky's paradise - "an investment boom and an associated asset market [that] ran to improbable heights and then collapsed".

According the Barbera, "Minsky's financial instability hypothesis depends critically on what amounts to a sociological insight. People change their minds about taking risks. They don't make a one-time rational judgment about debt use and stock market exposure and stick to it. Instead, they change their minds over time. And history is quite clear about how they change their minds. The longer the good times endure, the more people begin to see wisdom in risky strategies."

Current economy state can be called following Paul McCulley a "stable disequilibrium" very similar to a state  a sand pile.  All this pile of  stocks, debt instruments, derivatives, credit default swaps and God know corresponds to a  pile of sand that is on the verse of losing stability. Each financial player works hard to maximize their own personal outcome but the "invisible hand" effect in adding sand to the pile that is increasing systemic instability. According to Minsky, the longer such situation continues the more likely and violent an "avalanche".

The late Hunt Taylor wrote, in 2006:

"Let us start with what we know. First, these markets look nothing like anything I've ever encountered before. Their stunning complexity, the staggering number of tradable instruments and their interconnectedness, the light-speed at which information moves, the degree to which the movement of one instrument triggers nonlinear reactions along chains of related derivatives, and the requisite level of mathematics necessary to price them speak to the reality that we are now sailing in uncharted waters.

"... I've had 30-plus years of learning experiences in markets, all of which tell me that technology and telecommunications will not do away with human greed and ignorance. I think we will drive the car faster and faster until something bad happens. And I think it will come, like a comet, from that part of the night sky where we least expect it."

This is a gold age for bankers as Simon Johnson wrote in New Republic (The Next Financial Crisis ):

Banking was once a dangerous profession. In Britain, for instance, bankers faced “unlimited liability”--that is, if you ran a bank, and the bank couldn’t repay depositors or other creditors, those people had the right to confiscate all your personal assets and income until you repaid. It wasn’t until the second half of the nineteenth century that Britain established limited liability for bank owners. From that point on, British bankers no longer assumed much financial risk themselves.

In the United States, there was great experimentation with banking during the 1800s, but those involved in the enterprise typically made a substantial commitment of their own capital. For example, there was a well-established tradition of “double liability,” in which stockholders were responsible for twice the original value of their shares in a bank. This encouraged stockholders to carefully monitor bank executives and employees. And, in turn, it placed a lot of pressure on those who managed banks. If they fared poorly, they typically faced personal and professional ruin. The idea that a bank executive would retain wealth and social status in the event of a self-induced calamity would have struck everyone--including bank executives themselves--as ludicrous.

Enter, in the early part of the twentieth century, the Federal Reserve. The Fed was founded in 1913, but discussion about whether to create a central bank had swirled for years. “No one can carefully study the experience of the other great commercial nations,” argued Republican Senator Nelson Aldrich in an influential 1909 speech, “without being convinced that disastrous results of recurring financial crises have been successfully prevented by a proper organization of capital and by the adoption of wise methods of banking and of currency”--in other words, a central bank. In November 1910, Aldrich and a small group of top financiers met on an isolated island off the coast of Georgia. There, they hammered out a draft plan to create a strong central bank that would be owned by banks themselves.

What these bankers essentially wanted was a bailout mechanism for the aftermath of speculative crashes -- something more durable than J.P. Morgan, who saved the day in the Panic of 1907 but couldn’t be counted on to live forever. While they sought informal government backing and substantial government financial support for their new venture, the bankers also wanted it to remain free of government interference, oversight, or control.

Another destabilizing fact is so called myth of invisible hand which is closely related to the myth about market self-regulation. The misunderstood argument of Adam Smith [1776], the founder of modern economics, that free markets led to efficient outcomes, “as if by an invisible hand” has played a central role in these debates: it suggested that we could, by and large, rely on markets without government intervention. About "invisible hand" deification, see The Invisible Hand, Trumped by Darwin - NYTimes.com.

The concept of Minsky moment

The moment in the financial system when the quantity of debt turns into quality and produces yet another financial crisis is called Minsky moment. In other words the “Minsky moment” is the time when an unsustainable financial boom turns into uncontrollable collapse of financial markets (aka financial crash). The existence of Minsky moments is one of the most important counterargument against financial market self-regulation.  It also expose free market fundamentalists such as "former Maestro" Greenspan as charlatans. Greenspan actually implicitly admitted that he is and that it was he, who was the "machinist"  who helped to bring the USA economic train off the rails in 2008 via deregulation  and dismantling the New Deal installed safeguards. 

Here how it is explained by Stephen Mihm in Boston Globe in 2009 in the after math of 2008 financial crisis:

“Minsky” was shorthand for Hyman Minsky, an American macroeconomist who died over a decade ago.  He predicted almost exactly the kind of meltdown that recently hammered the global economy. He believed in capitalism, but also believed it had almost a genetic weakness. Modern finance, he argued, was far from the stabilizing force that mainstream economics portrayed: rather, it was a system that created the illusion of stability while simultaneously creating the conditions for an inevitable and dramatic collapse.

In other words, the one person who foresaw the crisis also believed that our whole financial system contains the seeds of its own destruction. “Instability,” he wrote, “is an inherent and inescapable flaw of capitalism.”

Minsky believed it was possible to craft policies that could blunt the collateral damage caused by financial crises. As economists re-embrace Minsky’s prophetic insights, it is far from clear that they’re ready to reckon with the full implications of what he saw.

Minsky theory was not well received due to powerful orthodoxy, born in the years after World War II, known as the neoclassical synthesis. The older belief in a self-regulating, self-stabilizing free market had selectively absorbed a few insights from John Maynard Keynes, the great economist of the 1930s who wrote extensively of the ways that capitalism might fail to maintain full employment. Most economists still believed that free-market capitalism was a fundamentally stable basis for an economy, though thanks to Keynes, some now acknowledged that government might under certain circumstances play a role in keeping the economy - and employment - on an even keel.

Economists like Paul Samuelson became the public face of the new establishment; he and others at a handful of top universities became deeply influential in Washington. In theory, Minsky could have been an academic star in this new establishment: Like Samuelson, he earned his doctorate in economics at Harvard University, where he studied with legendary Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter, as well as future Nobel laureate Wassily Leontief.

But Minsky was cut from different cloth than many of the other big names. The descendent of immigrants from Minsk, in modern-day Belarus, Minsky was a red-diaper baby, the son of Menshevik socialists. While most economists spent the 1950s and 1960s toiling over mathematical models, Minsky pursued research on poverty, hardly the hottest subfield of economics. With long, wild, white hair, Minsky was closer to the counterculture than to mainstream economics. He was, recalls the economist L. Randall Wray, a former student, a “character.”

So while his colleagues from graduate school went on to win Nobel prizes and rise to the top of academia, Minsky languished. He drifted from Brown to Berkeley and eventually to Washington University. Indeed, many economists weren’t even aware of his work. One assessment of Minsky published in 1997 simply noted that his “work has not had a major influence in the macroeconomic discussions of the last thirty years.”

Yet he was busy. In addition to poverty, Minsky began to delve into the field of finance, which despite its seeming importance had no place in the theories formulated by Samuelson and others. He also began to ask a simple, if disturbing question: “Can ‘it’ happen again?” - where “it” was, like Harry Potter’s nemesis Voldemort, the thing that could not be named: the Great Depression.

In his writings, Minsky looked to his intellectual hero, Keynes, arguably the greatest economist of the 20th century. But where most economists drew a single, simplistic lesson from Keynes - that government could step in and micromanage the economy, smooth out the business cycle, and keep things on an even keel - Minsky had no interest in what he and a handful of other dissident economists came to call “bastard Keynesianism.”

Instead, Minsky drew his own, far darker, lessons from Keynes’s landmark writings, which dealt not only with the problem of unemployment, but with money and banking. Although Keynes had never stated this explicitly, Minsky argued that Keynes’s collective work amounted to a powerful argument that capitalism was by its very nature unstable and prone to collapse. Far from trending toward some magical state of equilibrium, capitalism would inevitably do the opposite. It would lurch over a cliff.

This insight bore the stamp of his advisor Joseph Schumpeter, the noted Austrian economist now famous for documenting capitalism’s ceaseless process of “creative destruction.” But Minsky spent more time thinking about destruction than creation. In doing so, he formulated an intriguing theory: not only was capitalism prone to collapse, he argued, it was precisely its periods of economic stability that would set the stage for monumental crises.

Minsky called his idea the “Financial Instability Hypothesis.” In the wake of a depression, he noted, financial institutions are extraordinarily conservative, as are businesses. With the borrowers and the lenders who fuel the economy all steering clear of high-risk deals, things go smoothly: loans are almost always paid on time, businesses generally succeed, and everyone does well. That success, however, inevitably encourages borrowers and lenders to take on more risk in the reasonable hope of making more money. As Minsky observed, “Success breeds a disregard of the possibility of failure.”

As people forget that failure is a possibility, a “euphoric economy” eventually develops, fueled by the rise of far riskier borrowers - what he called speculative borrowers, those whose income would cover interest payments but not the principal; and those he called “Ponzi borrowers,” those whose income could cover neither, and could only pay their bills by borrowing still further. As these latter categories grew, the overall economy would shift from a conservative but profitable environment to a much more freewheeling system dominated by players whose survival depended not on sound business plans, but on borrowed money and freely available credit.

Once that kind of economy had developed, any panic could wreck the market. The failure of a single firm, for example, or the revelation of a staggering fraud could trigger fear and a sudden, economy-wide attempt to shed debt. This watershed moment - what was later dubbed the “Minsky moment” - would create an environment deeply inhospitable to all borrowers. The speculators and Ponzi borrowers would collapse first, as they lost access to the credit they needed to survive. Even the more stable players might find themselves unable to pay their debt without selling off assets; their forced sales would send asset prices spiraling downward, and inevitably, the entire rickety financial edifice would start to collapse. Businesses would falter, and the crisis would spill over to the “real” economy that depended on the now-collapsing financial system.

From the 1960s onward, Minsky elaborated on this hypothesis. At the time he believed that this shift was already underway: postwar stability, financial innovation, and the receding memory of the Great Depression were gradually setting the stage for a crisis of epic proportions. Most of what he had to say fell on deaf ears. The 1960s were an era of solid growth, and although the economic stagnation of the 1970s was a blow to mainstream neo-Keynesian economics, it did not send policymakers scurrying to Minsky. Instead, a new free market fundamentalism took root: government was the problem, not the solution.

Moreover, the new dogma coincided with a remarkable era of stability. The period from the late 1980s onward has been dubbed the “Great Moderation,” a time of shallow recessions and great resilience among most major industrial economies. Things had never been more stable. The likelihood that “it” could happen again now seemed laughable.

Yet throughout this period, the financial system - not the economy, but finance as an industry - was growing by leaps and bounds. Minsky spent the last years of his life, in the early 1990s, warning of the dangers of securitization and other forms of financial innovation, but few economists listened. Nor did they pay attention to consumers’ and companies’ growing dependence on debt, and the growing use of leverage within the financial system.

By the end of the 20th century, the financial system that Minsky had warned about had materialized, complete with speculative borrowers, Ponzi borrowers, and precious few of the conservative borrowers who were the bedrock of a truly stable economy. Over decades, we really had forgotten the meaning of risk. When storied financial firms started to fall, sending shockwaves through the “real” economy, his predictions started to look a lot like a road map.

“This wasn’t a Minsky moment,” explains Randall Wray. “It was a Minsky half-century.”

Minsky is now all the rage. A year ago, an influential Financial Times columnist confided to readers that rereading Minsky’s 1986 “masterpiece” - “Stabilizing an Unstable Economy” - “helped clear my mind on this crisis.” Others joined the chorus. Earlier this year, two economic heavyweights - Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong - both tipped their hats to him in public forums. Indeed, the Nobel Prize-winning Krugman titled one of the Robbins lectures at the London School of Economics “The Night They Re-read Minsky.”

Today most economists, it’s safe to say, are probably reading Minsky for the first time, trying to fit his unconventional insights into the theoretical scaffolding of their profession. If Minsky were alive today, he would no doubt applaud this belated acknowledgment, even if it has come at a terrible cost. As he once wryly observed, “There is nothing wrong with macroeconomics that another depression [won’t] cure.”

But does Minsky’s work offer us any practical help? If capitalism is inherently self-destructive and unstable - never mind that it produces inequality and unemployment, as Keynes had observed - now what?

After spending his life warning of the perils of the complacency that comes with stability - and having it fall on deaf ears - Minsky was understandably pessimistic about the ability to short-circuit the tragic cycle of boom and bust. But he did believe that much could be done to ameliorate the damage.

To prevent the Minsky moment from becoming a national calamity, part of his solution (which was shared with other economists) was to have the Federal Reserve - what he liked to call the “Big Bank” - step into the breach and act as a lender of last resort to firms under siege. By throwing lines of liquidity to foundering firms, the Federal Reserve could break the cycle and stabilize the financial system. It failed to do so during the Great Depression, when it stood by and let a banking crisis spiral out of control. This time, under the leadership of Ben Bernanke - like Minsky, a scholar of the Depression - it took a very different approach, becoming a lender of last resort to everything from hedge funds to investment banks to money market funds.

Minsky’s other solution, however, was considerably more radical and less palatable politically. The preferred mainstream tactic for pulling the economy out of a crisis was - and is - based on the Keynesian notion of “priming the pump” by sending money that will employ lots of high-skilled, unionized labor - by building a new high-speed train line, for example.

Minsky, however, argued for a “bubble-up” approach, sending money to the poor and unskilled first. The government - or what he liked to call “Big Government” - should become the “employer of last resort,” he said, offering a job to anyone who wanted one at a set minimum wage. It would be paid to workers who would supply child care, clean streets, and provide services that would give taxpayers a visible return on their dollars. In being available to everyone, it would be even more ambitious than the New Deal, sharply reducing the welfare rolls by guaranteeing a job for anyone who was able to work. Such a program would not only help the poor and unskilled, he believed, but would put a floor beneath everyone else’s wages too, preventing salaries of more skilled workers from falling too precipitously, and sending benefits up the socioeconomic ladder.

While economists may be acknowledging some of Minsky’s points on financial instability, it’s safe to say that even liberal policymakers are still a long way from thinking about such an expanded role for the American government. If nothing else, an expensive full-employment program would veer far too close to socialism for the comfort of politicians. For his part, Wray thinks that the critics are apt to misunderstand Minsky. “He saw these ideas as perfectly consistent with capitalism,” says Wray. “They would make capitalism better.”

But not perfect. Indeed, if there’s anything to be drawn from Minsky’s collected work, it’s that perfection, like stability and equilibrium, are mirages. Minsky did not share his profession’s quaint belief that everything could be reduced to a tidy model, or a pat theory. His was a kind of existential economics: capitalism, like life itself, is difficult, even tragic. “There is no simple answer to the problems of our capitalism,” wrote Minsky. “There is no solution that can be transformed into a catchy phrase and carried on banners.”

It’s a sentiment that may limit the extent to which Minsky becomes part of any new orthodoxy. But that’s probably how he would have preferred it, believes liberal economist James Galbraith. “I think he would resist being domesticated,” says Galbraith. “He spent his career in professional isolation.”

Stephen Mihm is a history professor at the University of Georgia and author of “A Nation of Counterfeiters” (Harvard, 2007). © Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.

 

Some important albeit random (and overlapping) points about instability of financial system

The first thing to understand is that attempt to weaken positive feedback looks via regulation, approach that can be called  “regulation as a Swiss knife” does not work without law enforcement and criminal liability for bankers, as there is an obvious problem of corruption of regulators. In this sense the mechanism of purges might be the only one that realistically can work.

In other words it’s unclear who and how can prevents the capture of regulators as financial sector by definition has means to undermine any such efforts. One way this influence work is via lobbing for appointment of pro-financial sector people in key positions. If such "finance-sector-selected" Fed chairman does not like part of Fed mandate related to regulation it can simply ignore it as long as he is sure that he will be reappointed. That happened with Greenspan.  After such process started it became irreversible and only after a significant, dramatic shock to the system any meaningful changes can be instituted and as soon as the lessons are forgotten work on undermining them resumes.

In essence, the Fed is a political organization and Fed Chairman is as close to a real vice-president of the USA as one can get.  As such Fed Chairman serves the elite which rules that country, whether you call them financial oligarchy or some other name. Actually Fed Chairman is the most powerful unelected official in the USA. If you compare this position to the role of the Chairman of the Politburo  in the USSR you’ll might find some interesting similarities.

In other words it is impossible to prevent appointment of another Greenspan by another Reagan without changes in political power balance.  And the transition to banana republic that follows such appointment is irreversible even if the next administration water boards former Fed Chairman to help him to write his memoirs.  That means that you need to far-reaching reform of political system to be able to regulate financial industry and you need to understand that the measures adopted need vigilant protection as soon as the current crisis is a distant history.

Additional reading

Several other source of financial instability were pointed out by others:

There are some outstanding lectures and presentation on YouTube on this topic. Among them:

See an expended list at Webliography of heterodox economists

Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov


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[Jul 20, 2018] The Day That Guccifer 2.0 Quit Hacking The DNC

So the DNC announced Russia hacked them, and "proved" it with a file they say was stolen. But that file was not the DNC's. So the "proof" of Russia hacking the DNC is nonexistent.
Notable quotes:
"... they cite an anonymous former DNC official who asserts that Guccifer 2.0's first document (the Trump opposition report) did not originate in the DNC as initially reported. ..."
"... The importance of this contradiction, combined with earlier allegations of hacking the DNC made by Guccifer 2.0, cannot be overstated. ..."
"... " There were signs of dishonesty from the start. The first document Guccifer 2.0 published on June 15 came not from the DNC as advertised but from Podesta's inbox, according to a former DNC official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press." ..."
"... By classifying Guccifer 2.0's claim to have obtained the Trump Opposition Report through a breach of the DNC as a sign of dishonesty, the Associated Press uses the Guccifer 2.0 persona's widely held claim as an example of contradiction with their new version of the 'official' Russian hacking narrative. In so doing, the AP makes the hacking allegations entirely nebulous: a fantasy narrative that can be neither proven nor disproven but easily edited and rearranged when convenient. Incredibly, the AP's article also contradicts the claims made by the DNC themselves, and so-called papers of record, including the Washington Post. ..."
"... [Fancy Bear] broke into the network in late April and targeted the opposition research files. It was this breach that set off the alarm. The hackers stole two files,[Shawn] Henry said." ..."
"... "Investigators would have been able to rapidly determine if there were textual differences between Guccifer 2.0's document and the DNC's. If there were no textual differences, an initial determination might have been difficult, because Guccifer 2.0 went to some trouble to obscure internal metadata, known as Revision Save ID's (RSID's), which can be used to uniquely identify sections of text that have been changed and added into a Word document. However, when the Podesta emails were published in October 2016, investigators should have been able to source Guccifer 2.0's document to the Podesta emails quickly. They would have been able to do this before the 2016 election, a full year ahead of the AP report." [Emphasis Added] ..."
"... Ultimately, it is the DNC's claim that they were breached by Russian hackers, who stole the Trump opposition report, which directly belies their allegation - because the document did not come from the DNC, but from John Podesta's emails. ..."
"... What is interesting here is that the AP admits that such elements of the document's publication had been fabricated, but did not then follow that realization by questioning other possibly fabricated elements of the documents, such as the Russian-language error messages. The AP certainly did not concern themselves with why a Russian state-sponsored hacker would benefit from airbrushing "confidential" onto such a report. Their claim that it was to attract media attention seems quite weak. ..."
"... AP surmised that Guccifer 2.0 "air-brush[ed]" the word "confidential" into the document to "catch the reporter's attention." Both Carter and the Forensicator have explained that Guccifer 2.0 used a complex process, involving an intermediate template document, to inject this "alluring" fake. The Forensicator told this author that they take the position that this intermediate template file (ostensibly needed to add "CONFIDENTIAL" to the document) had an additional purpose. ..."
"... The Forensicator explained that, for some readers and researchers, the copy/paste of an intermediate (RTF) copy of the Trump opposition report into a template document might be interpreted simply as an unconventional method for injecting "confidential" into 1.doc. However, the Forensicator added, it can also be interpreted as a "cover" for the final copy/paste operation which was a necessary step in the evolution of Guccifer 2.0's first document. It was needed to embed the Russian error messages into the final document (1.doc). ..."
"... In their full analysis, the Forensicator wrote that it was surprising that neither outlet reported on the easily viewed "Last Saved By" property, which listed "Феликс Эдмундович" (aka "Iron Felix") as the user who last saved the document. This unique name was noticed by various social media observers that same day and by Ars Technica the following day. How did the journalists miss this, and why? ..."
"... Both Gawker and The Smoking Gun published Guccifer 2.0's Trump opposition report in full as a PDF file. Their PDF files have the now infamous Cyrillic error messages in them; they appear in the last few pages of their PDF files. Ars Technica dubbed these error messages, "Russian fingerprints." ..."
"... Ars Technica reported on Guccifer 2.0's publication of the Trump Opposition Report the day after Guccifer 2.0 arrived on the scene. They quickly noted that there were Russian language error messages in the PDF file posted by Gawker. They also noticed that when they viewed 1.doc themselves, they didn't see the Russian error messages. The Forensicator told Disobedient Media that this was because Ars Technica used Word for Windows, which displayed the error messages in English. ..."
"... So the DNC announced Russia hacked them, and "proved" it with a file they say was stolen.But that file was not the DNC's. So the "proof" of Russia hacking the DNC is nonexistent. ..."
May 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Disobedient Media recently reported on discoveries made by the Forensicator in their report, Media Mishaps: Early Guccifer 2 Coverage . In our previous coverage of the Forensicator's work, we discussed the essential role played by the media in ensuring that the Guccifer 2.0 persona received wide recognition by successfully linking Guccifer 2.0's documents with the DNC's claims that Russian state-sponsored hackers had breached their servers.

This report will focus on an unreported story: After the fact, the DNC quietly changed an important theme in their Russian hacking narrative. Initially, the DNC passively supported the notion that Guccifer 2.0 stole a copy of a Trump opposition report by penetrating the DNC at the behest of the Russian state. Then over a year later, an un-named ex-DNC official tells us that this document in fact came from Podesta's emails, not the DNC. This single statement by a DNC official invalidated the circumstantial evidence that had been used to support the DNC's Russian hacking claims, and represents a groundbreaking contradiction that has gone unobserved by establishment press outlets.

This report will also discuss numerous mistakes made by various legacy press outlets in their obsessive focus on the Russian hacking narrative and their rush to judgment in the matter.

A Late (and Quiet) Change in the DNC Russian Hacking Narrative

In November 2017, the DNC changed their Russian hacking narrative via their proxies in the legacy media. The Associated Press published, Inside story: How Russians hacked the Democrats' emails ; they cite an anonymous former DNC official who asserts that Guccifer 2.0's first document (the Trump opposition report) did not originate in the DNC as initially reported.

The importance of this contradiction, combined with earlier allegations of hacking the DNC made by Guccifer 2.0, cannot be overstated.

The Associated Press wrote in November 2017:

" There were signs of dishonesty from the start. The first document Guccifer 2.0 published on June 15 came not from the DNC as advertised but from Podesta's inbox, according to a former DNC official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press."

By classifying Guccifer 2.0's claim to have obtained the Trump Opposition Report through a breach of the DNC as a sign of dishonesty, the Associated Press uses the Guccifer 2.0 persona's widely held claim as an example of contradiction with their new version of the 'official' Russian hacking narrative. In so doing, the AP makes the hacking allegations entirely nebulous: a fantasy narrative that can be neither proven nor disproven but easily edited and rearranged when convenient. Incredibly, the AP's article also contradicts the claims made by the DNC themselves, and so-called papers of record, including the Washington Post.

By returning to the genesis of the Russian hacking narrative, we find that the AP's November report runs contrary to the DNC's initial claims, as reported by The Washington Post , in an article titled, Russian Government Hackers Penetrated DNC, Stole Opposition Research On Trump . When reviewing this early history of the matter, it becomes clear that it is logically impossible to separate the Guccifer 2.0 persona from the allegations of a Kremlin-backed hack of the DNC. Critical statements in that initial report by the Washington Post are highlighted below for emphasis:

"Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach

[Fancy Bear] broke into the network in late April and targeted the opposition research files. It was this breach that set off the alarm. The hackers stole two files,[Shawn] Henry said."

By taking this later (2017) stance, the Associated Press contradicts the "official" Russian hacking narrative involving Guccifer 2.0 (as implied by the DNC's own security firm) and which had, until that point, been characterized by the corporate press as Russian-hacking-gospel-truth. By seamlessly excising Guccifer 2.0 from culpability within a new timeline of events, the Associated Press makes the entire hacking story a fantasy narrative that can be neither proven nor disproven but must not be questioned.

The Forensicator explained to Disobedient Media:

"Investigators would have been able to rapidly determine if there were textual differences between Guccifer 2.0's document and the DNC's. If there were no textual differences, an initial determination might have been difficult, because Guccifer 2.0 went to some trouble to obscure internal metadata, known as Revision Save ID's (RSID's), which can be used to uniquely identify sections of text that have been changed and added into a Word document. However, when the Podesta emails were published in October 2016, investigators should have been able to source Guccifer 2.0's document to the Podesta emails quickly. They would have been able to do this before the 2016 election, a full year ahead of the AP report." [Emphasis Added]

The Forensicator then referred this author to a table in his report, depicting the metadata for Podesta's version of the Trump opposition report:

As we can see, the document was saved by Tony Carrk, who worked as Research Director for Hillary for America at the time. This document was attached to this Podesta email .

The Forensicator continued, saying: "We can see that Mr. Carrk made some change that took less than one minute to complete. If investigators compared Carrk's version of the document to the original DNC document, they should have been able to quickly determine that Guccifer 2's document is sourced from Podesta's emails and not directly from the DNC. For this, an RSID correlation would have probably been telling."

Why did the DNC, their security consultant firm Crowdstrike, and government investigators wait so long to tell us that Guccifer 2.0 did not obtain their copy of the Trump opposition report directly from the DNC? Why did Crowdstrike tell the Washington Post that the opposition report files had been stolen specifically from the DNC network if that were not the case?

The legacy press chorus had initially linked Guccifer 2.0's first document, and the "Russian fingerprints" therein to the Trump opposition report that the DNC claimed to have been stolen by Russian state-sponsored hackers. What prompted them to change their story, contradicting not only Guccifer 2.0 but the DNC themselves? Should we now assess the DNC's claim that the document had been taken by Russian hackers to be untrue?

Ultimately, it is the DNC's claim that they were breached by Russian hackers, who stole the Trump opposition report, which directly belies their allegation - because the document did not come from the DNC, but from John Podesta's emails.

Is it possible that Mueller's investigation may have taken a closer look into the origin of Guccifer 2.0's initial document, realizing that it was sourced from Podesta's email? The DNC and government investigators may have then decided that the best way to obscure the resulting contradictory evidence was by letting it quietly leak via a "former DNC official who spoke on the condition of anonymity," in the November 2017 article published by the Associated Press.

Given the repeated contradictions from the DNC and corporate media in their description of Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential race, how can the public be expected to believe that their other claims have any legitimacy whatsoever?

The AP's November 2017 article also noticed that Guccifer 2.0's first published document contained the word CONFIDENTIAL, while the original document did not. This was old news to anyone who had been paying attention; Adam Carter analyzed this artifact nine months earlier:

What is interesting here is that the AP admits that such elements of the document's publication had been fabricated, but did not then follow that realization by questioning other possibly fabricated elements of the documents, such as the Russian-language error messages. The AP certainly did not concern themselves with why a Russian state-sponsored hacker would benefit from airbrushing "confidential" onto such a report. Their claim that it was to attract media attention seems quite weak.

AP surmised that Guccifer 2.0 "air-brush[ed]" the word "confidential" into the document to "catch the reporter's attention." Both Carter and the Forensicator have explained that Guccifer 2.0 used a complex process, involving an intermediate template document, to inject this "alluring" fake. The Forensicator told this author that they take the position that this intermediate template file (ostensibly needed to add "CONFIDENTIAL" to the document) had an additional purpose.

The Forensicator explained that, for some readers and researchers, the copy/paste of an intermediate (RTF) copy of the Trump opposition report into a template document might be interpreted simply as an unconventional method for injecting "confidential" into 1.doc. However, the Forensicator added, it can also be interpreted as a "cover" for the final copy/paste operation which was a necessary step in the evolution of Guccifer 2.0's first document. It was needed to embed the Russian error messages into the final document (1.doc).

Once again, establishment media failed to pursue their cited evidence with due diligence. This is a grave mistake, especially given the way in which Guccifer 2.0's alleged 'hacking' has been used as a major bolstering point for increased tensions between the United States and Russia.

Initially, Gawker and The Smoking Gun Didn't Notice Iron Felix

Guccifer 2.0 made his noisy debut on June 15, 2016 (the day after the DNC publicly claimed it had been breached by Russian state-sponsored hackers). It also appears that Guccifer 2.0 gave advanced copies of their doctored version of the Trump opposition report to two media outlets, The Smoking Gun and Gawker.

In their full analysis, the Forensicator wrote that it was surprising that neither outlet reported on the easily viewed "Last Saved By" property, which listed "Феликс Эдмундович" (aka "Iron Felix") as the user who last saved the document. This unique name was noticed by various social media observers that same day and by Ars Technica the following day. How did the journalists miss this, and why?

Initially, Gawker and The Smoking Gun Didn't Notice the Russian Error Messages

Both Gawker and The Smoking Gun published Guccifer 2.0's Trump opposition report in full as a PDF file. Their PDF files have the now infamous Cyrillic error messages in them; they appear in the last few pages of their PDF files. Ars Technica dubbed these error messages, "Russian fingerprints."

Although both outlets reviewed this document in some detail, neither outlet noticed the Russian error messages in their first reports. The Forensicator suggests that, given their choice of word processing applications, they would have seen the Russian error messages, if only they had viewed the last few pages of each file. That is, unless (perhaps) they received their PDF's directly from Guccifer 2.0 or another third party and they just passed them along.

Ars Technica was Confused When They Didn't See the Russian Error Messages in Guccifer 2.0's Word Document

Ars Technica reported on Guccifer 2.0's publication of the Trump Opposition Report the day after Guccifer 2.0 arrived on the scene. They quickly noted that there were Russian language error messages in the PDF file posted by Gawker. They also noticed that when they viewed 1.doc themselves, they didn't see the Russian error messages. The Forensicator told Disobedient Media that this was because Ars Technica used Word for Windows, which displayed the error messages in English.

Ars Technica suggested that The Smoking Gun's PDF may have been generated by Guccifer 2.0 on a system that had Russian language settings enabled.

While this explanation appears reasonable, it is surprising (if that was the case) that Gawker didn't tell us that their PDF came directly from Guccifer 2.0 . The Smoking Gun also published a PDF with Russian error messages in it. Are we to believe that The Smoking Gun also received their PDF from Guccifer 2.0 or a third party, and failed to report on this fact?

IVN: Did Gawker Outsource Their Analysis to Russia?

An obscure media outlet, Independent Voter Network , raised various theories on the initial reporting done by The Smoking Gun and Gawker. One of their wilder theories suggested that Gawker had outsourced their analysis to a Russian sub-contractor. The Forensicator evaluated that claim, ultimately concluding that Independent Voter Network had gone on a wild goose chase because the "clue" they followed pointed to Gawker's document management service known as "DocumentCloud." DocumentCloud uses a technology that they call "CloudCrowd," which is what IVN saw in the PDF that Gawker uploaded. The Forensicator referred to a DocumentCloud job advertisement for confirmation of his conclusion.

The Forensicator told Disobedient Media: "We found CloudCrowd; it is not an outsourcing company. Probably not Russian, either."

Business Insider: Did Guccifer 2.0 Photoshop "Confidential" Into his Document Screenshots?

When Business Insider noted the presence of "CONFIDENTIAL" in Guccifer 2.0's document, they claimed that Guccifer 2.0 might have "photoshopped" his screenshots (placed on his blog site) to create the watermark and page footer with "confidential" in them.

The Forensicator countered that claim by pointing out that the Business Insider journalist likely viewed the document with "Full-Screen Reading" selected.

This mode will disable the display of the watermark and page headers and footers when viewed by the journalist, but they will be displayed when printed to PDF. No Photoshop required.

Conclusion

The close timing of the DNC announcement and Guccifer 2.0's publication of the Trump report, as well as reports of "Russian fingerprints" in those documents, created a strong link between Guccifer 2.0 and the Russian hackers who allegedly stole DNC files. Over a year later, the Associated Press tells us that this first narrative was wrong, contradicting the DNC's claims as well as much of the early legacy press reports on the issue. Must we concurrently accept the narrative that Russians hacked the DNC if claims that they had done so were not only based on flimsy evidence but have now been contradicted completely?

As far as documented evidence of election interference goes, one does not have to stray far from the actors in the Russian hacking saga to discover that the DNC and establishment Democrats were, instead of victims of meddling, the perpetrators of such abuse of the American Democratic process. In 2017 the NYC Board of Elections admitted that it had illegally purged hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters from the election roles, preventing them from voting in the 2016 Democratic primaries. This abuse of power represents just one in a constellation of legitimate examples of abuse that took place at the hands of corporatized Democrats in order to unfairly and illegally ensure a Clinton nomination.


GunnyG Wed, 05/23/2018 - 18:28 Permalink

Podesta the Molesta gets the Vince Foster invitation to jog at Fort Marcy Park very soon.

honest injun Wed, 05/23/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

This is too complicated for the average demon rat nitwit to follow. They don't want to know this so showing them facts has to be dumbed down. Otherwise, all new revelations will be ignored.

DrLucindaX Wed, 05/23/2018 - 19:10 Permalink

Really good work and reporting here that will never be understood by the masses. Everything that's going on is far too complex, too many moving parts, too much compartmentalization. Trump is doing a good job dumbing it down.

Justapleb Wed, 05/23/2018 - 19:54 Permalink

So the DNC announced Russia hacked them, and "proved" it with a file they say was stolen.But that file was not the DNC's. So the "proof" of Russia hacking the DNC is nonexistent.

Gotta dumb it down.

[Jul 20, 2018] Of course they don't that's why the imaginary oil glut was thought up. Let everyone else think its glut, it drops the price allows U.S. to buy more. Then deliberate increase inventory by buying more then claim inventory as a reason to drop the price?

Jul 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Sapere aude -> MusicIsYou Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:36 Permalink

Of course they don't that's why the imaginary oil glut was thought up. Let everyone else think its glut, it drops the price allows U.S. to buy more. Then deliberate increase inventory by buying more then claim inventory as a reason to drop the price?

Then take oil from the SPR through its bidirectional pipelines, designed just for that purpose and pretend it is production, then of course at some stage as I mentioned ages ago, a fictional drawdown sale of millions of barrels of crude from the SPR would have to be made to keep the books straight for oil that's already gone!

Add to that the Ponzi shale still churning out oil costing them $100 to produce for them to sell at $50 then CEO's shouting from rooftops about how profitable it will all be....with none of them making profits, most of them passing dividends over and selling assets and borrowing more and more that they will never be able to pay back and where the Fed did everything possible to fund the at ZIRP or NIRP but failed miserable.

Then of course we get the same old same old Saudi pretending to raise production when its own wells are falling apart and declining rapidly most subject to water flooding, including the Super Giant Ghawar field.

[Jul 19, 2018] Why Are Thousands of Teslas Sitting In a Field in California Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... " The spokesperson also added depending on the vehicle's configuration , Model 3 wait times are currently 1 to 3 months", but spokeshuman did not explain why no base models will ever be produced. ..."
"... " Tesla ditched reservations and opened up Model 3 sales to anyone for a $2,500 deposit." that's because reservations are refundable....as long as the cash holds out, sales deposits apparently not. ..."
Jul 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Why Are "Thousands" of Teslas Sitting In a Field in California?

by Tyler Durden Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:14 129 SHARES

"There's so much inventory here, it's crazy."

When Tesla finally met its Model 3 production run rate target, astute investors and analysts pointed out the use of the word "factory gated" in the company's press release: "Not only did we factory gate 5000 Model 3's , but we also achieved the S & X production target for a combined 7000 vehicle week!" Musk wrote in an email to his staff that week.

It was a term that Tesla hadn't used before.

Now, thanks to a couple of sleuths on Twitter, we may have just found out what the term means. Twitter Tesla sleuth @ISpyTSLA, with the help of others, has been trying to figure out exactly where all these vehicles are winding up. @ISpyTSLA found that it appears that "thousands" of vehicles are being stored "in a field" 500 E Louise Ave, Lathrop, CA 95330.

A google map visual of the address:

https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d4662.698973837076!2d-121.28654537841399!3d37.808864379125275!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x8090155fd699ce2b%3A0xc0fa315c162ac28b!2s500+E+Louise+Ave%2C+Lathrop%2C+CA+95330!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1532029694182

According to public records, the property was also available for lease just 6 months ago , suggesting that Tesla leased it recently. Why?

Perhaps as a place to temporarily dump cars that should be 'off the books' or as some said,' "There's so much inventory here, it's crazy."

The accompanying video appears to show "thousands" of Tesla vehicles just rusting in the open air under the scorching California sun.

Additional video shows the Twitter users initial approach to the property, which appears to have a gate with a warning sign that the premises are being video monitored.

The Twitter user notes that trucks seem to be bringing cars in, but not out. Follow up Tweets noted that "there's no real activity in the inventory lot" before noting that "some cars are coming out".

Meanwhile, as another Twitter user noted, another just as vast pile of Model 3s can be found near the Burbank Hollywood Airport.

The reaction from Twitter was underwhelming.

Great News Lemmings! All of our 5K Burst week cars are sitting in a scrap heap. This is GREAT news, we are going to make submarines out of them. Elon $TSLA

-- William B. Smith (@blainefundlp) July 19, 2018

But why stash the cars there? Is it to optimize net working capital and give investors - and auditors - the impression of more liquidity than is actually available?

Surely this will, or should, be one of the "boring" questions asked on the company's conference, if PricewaterhouseCoopers doesn't ask first.

Meanwhile, Tesla already had to fend off a downgrade from Needham this morning, who warned that Model 3 refunds were moving faster than deposits, something we documented here over a month ago .

"Based on our checks, refunds are outpacing deposits as cancellations accelerate," wrote analyst Rajvindra Gill in the note Thursday. "The reasons are varied: extended wait times, the expiration of the $7,500 credit, and unavailability of the $35k base model."

"In August '17, TSLA cited a refund rate of 12%. Almost a year later, we believe it has doubled and outpaced deposits. Model 3 wait times are currently 4-12 months and with base model not available until mid-2019, consumers could wait until 2020," Gill added.

This morning Tesla refuted this, however, with the discovery of this new lot Tesla's PR spin job for today may only be getting started.


Manthong -> macholatte Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:28 Permalink

At what desert ground level temperature Tesla batteries spontaneously combust?

Bear -> Manthong Thu, 07/19/2018 - 21:07 Permalink

Cars probably awaiting batteries

Hugh_Jorgan -> Manthong Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:35 Permalink

There probably aren't any batteries in them. These cars are in various states of technical completeness. Processes that were too time-consuming and parts that were not readily available were skipped in order to complete their ridiculous publicity stunt. No one likely knows the missing bits for any given car so they are junk. This is what happens when you are able to do what you're doing because of lots of "other-people's money". 4th turning bitchez, gross waste and abuse. All the big manufacturers are doing it, why shouldn't Tesla?

Endgame Napoleon -> mkkby Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:34 Permalink

Elon Musk manufactures here in the USA. Most American car manufacturers, other than Ford, took bigly bailout money from American taxpayers and then set up shop in racially homogenous, cheap-labor countries in China & Latin America. Ford went straight to Mexico, bypassing the bailout cash.

"Profitable" American car manufacturers still do some production in the USA, mostly hiring groups of young temps. They pay the youthful, blue-collar temp workers more than most white-collar temp jobs around here offer.

About 5 years ago, a local car manufacturer was paying temps $17 per hour, as opposed to the typical $10 per hour offered to white-collar non-college-grad office workers or $12 per hour for white-collar college-grad office workers. I recently saw an article, suggesting that the same American car manufacturer is now paying young temps even more, quite a bit more.

The article was adorned with a photo of an aging union worker, but no explanation was provided about how this system really works, with the young temps hired to do the bulk of the physically demanding labor. Due to senority, a small group of old union workers avoid that work, doing the cushier tasks.

The liberal agenda pusher who wrote the article, sticking a photo on it with an especially aged union worker, was probably promoting the faulty idea that America needs more immigration to fill those jobs due to an aging population, when, in fact, the young Millennial generation is BIGGER than the aging Boomer generation.

Furthermore, American citizens often get on lists to fill those high-paying temp jobs in car manufacturing. Applicants often have six-month waiting periods due to the massive number of job seekers, chasing those rare, high-paying TEMPORARY jobs.

Much like state jobs, US citizens must wait to get a good-paying temp job with those car manufacturers, and if the person who wrote the article had talked to temps who actually worked those jobs, s/he would know it. But it might not matter; advocates of mass-scale immigration gonna advocate.

Sokhmate -> Antifaschistische Thu, 07/19/2018 - 19:30 Permalink

Conservative numbers. I clocked the temperature of my black dashboard sitting in the sun in a town of balmy 70 degrees F at 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit

any_mouse -> beemasters Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:06 Permalink

Tne Media helped establish Musk as a cult figure. Reality is catching up with a false god, that is what's happening. At what point will Musk throw a kool aid party for MuskCar employees under the tent.

SIOP -> Rubicon Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:36 Permalink

" Isn't it what all car manufacturers do? " Yes, but it's Tesla so it's different somehow.

Sapere aude -> SIOP Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:41 Permalink

No its not what other car manufacturers do if they have so many orders to fill? only car manufacturers forward producing and estimating demand need store them but most adjust manufacturing levels to avoid it now as its expensive to store, and even non registered vehicles decline in value and are subject to damage.

Tesla with back orders should have no need at all to store cars, with such a professed backlog, so the fact they have is highly suspicious.

It might suggest to some analysts that the vehicles are not completed not safe or something else is awry.

Banana Republican -> Rubicon Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

It doesn't even look like "thousands" of cars to me. A quick drone flyover would clear this question up. And sure, this is what all car manufacturers do. Transshipment, rework, whatever. I mean, what else would you do? Put a tent over them? Everything about Tesla is stupid, and I'm enjoying their failure. But stories like this give credence to Musk's paranoid assertions that the world is out to destroy him.

DontWorry -> SloMoe Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:21 Permalink

Back in the old days of software we called it 'shipping bricks'. The new version of the software wasn't ready, but we booked orders, so we slapped labels on blank disks, but em in boxes with manuals and sent em out. Customer called a few days later when the software was ready, and we said, 'oh sorry, must have gotten a defective one, we are fed exing a new disk in the mail.

These may look like Teslas, but they didn't pass tests or are unsellable for some reason, so they count them as 'gated inventory' Same thing

adr Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

The increase in TSLA market cap more than covered the few thousand "cars" Tesla needs to hide that will never actually be sold, well until Elon called a hero a pedophile.

This is how the great publicly traded con economy works. You aren't producing product to sell, you are only manufacturing a story to sell stock. Since stock based compensation makes you a billionaire even if your company loses billions of dollars, what incentive is there to turn a profit?

You end up with more scams than productive corporations. If there was no stock market, Walmart would exist, but Amazon would not. Walmart is profitable in the billions of dollars, Amazon is not. Bezos could not be worth $150billion without the scam of publicly traded shares because it would take a few thousand years to pay out $150billion to Bezos from Amazon's profit.

Meanwhile Walmart could pay a few executives $1 billion per year and have plenty of profit left. Why is one company worth $250 billion, less than half revenue and the other near $850 billion with less than $200 billion in revenue?

Lie_Detector Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:34 Permalink

Not only Tesla is "storing" cars. All the majors appear to be doing the same. I live near Flint MI and you would NOT BELIEVE the number of lot's, fields, and empty spaces in the area that are FULL of late model vehicles. I suspect most are lease returns that are being kept out of the market to keep prices elevated. I have a 21 year old pick up truck. It is paid for. I would buy a newer truck but they are way too expensive. We have a newer SUV, also paid for. When the "big 3" decide to sell some of those lease returns at a reasonable price I MAY look at buying one. I WILL NOT BUY ONE for the prices they want. I just purchased a nice home for less than $40K so why would I buy a depreciating asset for the same amount?

BocceBaal Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:37 Permalink

Tesla delayed some deliveries until July, probably so that they could reach 200K cars sold this quarter and have the $7500 tax credit until Q4. But now that they've sold 200K, it makes no sense to hang onto them unless they don't have a buyer. Maybe that's why they opened the Model 3 builder site to everyone? Could it really be that they've run through all of the Model 3 preorders because most people who signed up to buy a $35K car aren't interested in paying $49K minimum as it is now?

Justapleb -> BocceBaal Thu, 07/19/2018 - 19:18 Permalink

This is a reasonable interpretation. Best case for Musk. In islolation (lol) it doesn't seem fatal.

But even so, he has higher inventory control costs. His labor costs have proven higher too. Down the line these cars have no dealer network to service or repair them, and to provide it is [would cost] billions.

not dead yet -> HilteryTrumpkin Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:53 Permalink

Yea and the Tesla tards are all gaga over the 30% profit margin the 3 will bring as indicated by those that tear down and analyze the vehicle. We're all gonna be rich when Tesla stock hits 10,000 by the end of the year. Booya. What you delusional Musk lovers should do is learn the difference between GROSS PROFIT, which is that touted 30%, and NET PROFIT. Gross profit only includes the direct costs to produce the car, materials and labor, but does not include selling, general, and administrative which will consume that 30% "profit" and then some. General expenses such as warranty work, electricity, paying engineers and secretaries and other non direct manufacturing personnel such as material handlers and plant cleanup and trash disposal and maintenance people etc, "free charging", R&D, interest on the debt, sales offices, etc etc. In the past your boy could brag about the cash pile on hand most of which was accumulated for PR purposes by delaying payment to suppliers.

Central Ohio Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:46 Permalink

Reminds me of someone who once touted, 'transparency.'

Kendle C Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:47 Permalink

Not since "Who Killed the Electric Car" have so many with axes to grind began fueling this bazaar anti-Tesla barrage. Musk is part of "those who do" while "those that can't" SHIT ALL OVER EVERYBODY who can.

Behind this is a hedge fund with a heavy short position, oil industry think tanks, and just plain shits parading on some fucking adolescent thing called "Twitter".

Have you dumb asses looked at the quantities of warehoused traditional cars by all other manufacturers? Youtube it if you don't believe. As to you haters and inflammatory dickheads, it's time to stop whacking it and eat the fucking cracker.

not dead yet -> Kendle C Thu, 07/19/2018 - 18:41 Permalink

You really are delusional. "Who Killed the Electric Car' is nothing but a hit piece on GM. GM killed their own electric not the electric industry like idiots want to believe. Their car although state of the art at the time had little range with the old tech batteries that were available at the time and would have been extremely expensive to build as it had no parts in common with other vehicles in their line. Plus at the time there was absolutely no public demand for electrics. The current flurry of electrics coming on the market is not because of Tesla, as you cult members want to believe, but from the hugely funded enviros pushing for the elimination of all ICE cars. In Germany and a few other countries they have passed or are in the process of legislating no new ICE cars to be sold by a certain date, anywhere from 2025 to 2030 depending on country, and all ICE cars off the road by 2050 or other dates depending on country.

Recently there was a complete fiction hit piece that oil companies outspend enviros by 10 to 1 on lobbying. Enviro organizations such as Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, Tom Steyer and other billionaires, and other enviro groups spend most of their budgets, which is in the billions, on lobbying. Under Obama his EPA pursued a "sue and settle" policy to encourage enviro groups to sue the EPA which would settle quickly as a way to get funds into the enviros pockets. Not to mention the hundreds of billions given to enviros by governments around the world. The Obama EPA refused to release to Congress the science on which their rulings were made because most of that "science" was bullshit written by enviro activists. The EPA advisors were all enviro activists. When Trump put Pruitt in charge of the EPA you clowns claimed he was anti science when he shit canned the activist old boy network and set up debates from all sides. Under Pruitt they took money destined for activists and used it clean up real pollution in Superfund sites which the Obama EPA ignored.

The other manufacturers can afford to warehouse cars as they make real profits. They also have to buy "pollution permits" to sell their cars in Commiefornia, which ends up in Tesla's pockets even though they pollute worse the ICE though not directly. As it is your boy is no different than the other manufacturers yet, except for ZH and other sites willing to print the truth, the general media, especially tech sites, can't get enough of licking Musk's balls and stroking his ego by wrongly calling him a genius who is going to change the world. Every single market your boy is in from Powerwalls to solar panels to cars there is experienced and well funded competition but yet the delusional refuse to believe it. His factory of the future, which was going to change the way cars are built, was a huge failure as in many procedures humans are better than robots which is why other car companies still employ humans. Your boy who was going to change the way cars are sold is opening dealerships. Plus Tesla is opening large numbers of repair shops contrary to the belief of many Tesla fanbois that Tesla's run forever without any repairs.

Kendle C -> not dead yet Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:49 Permalink

Boy did I scratch off your scab! Feeling accused? BTW cut back on "enviro-whatever" ok, 'cus it really sounds stupid. Your writing is dense, machine like, staid, crystalized, like a walking dead pedantic. Your reality is your own, there in your hermit crab shell, I wish you a constant stream of nutritional plankton, return to your place on the coral wreath.

yarpos -> Kendle C Thu, 07/19/2018 - 22:00 Permalink

Notice you came back with nothing but name calling and a writing style critique. Another content free liberal, once you scratch one layer deep past the talking points.

Chaotix Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:47 Permalink

Production does not always mean demand. In today's' ideology, production pays the rent, as long as the feds keep bailing you out. For years there have been photos of new car graveyards. It gives the charts something good to say.
"We produced 7,000 cars this week" gives the illusion of high demand for product, while not indicating who the buyers are. Part of the Sales illusion.

ejbonk Thu, 07/19/2018 - 18:59 Permalink

1 Problem. Tesla Vehicles Are Made From Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys. So They Do Not Rust ! This Tells Me Someone Didn't Do The Proper Research or Proof Reading .

larrythelogger -> ejbonk Thu, 07/19/2018 - 19:14 Permalink

Yeah, well if you actually DO proper research you'll find that only iron and steel rust. Aluminum corrodes, forms a thin layer of oxidized aluminum over its surface which does protect further surface corrosion. However, in a salt environment, even a teeny little bit of salt and water, like say salt found in desert areas, will cause severe corrosion where the aluminum turns to dust. If it rains in Lathrop followed by lots of wind, any and all unprotected aluminum WILL turn to dust and that right quick if left that way. Ask any Navy or Marine Corps pilot or any Navy or Marine Corps aircraft maintenance person whose served at sea and flew or worked on any number of aircraft. So thanks for the "they do not rust" warning so that "someone" could do Proper Research or Proof Reading. Good tip.

not-me---it-wa Thu, 07/19/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

interesting tidbits from downgrade announcement:

" The spokesperson also added depending on the vehicle's configuration , Model 3 wait times are currently 1 to 3 months", but spokeshuman did not explain why no base models will ever be produced.

" Tesla ditched reservations and opened up Model 3 sales to anyone for a $2,500 deposit." that's because reservations are refundable....as long as the cash holds out, sales deposits apparently not.

[Jul 19, 2018] This is the end of classic neoliberalism, no question about it, and the collapse of neoliberal globalization is just one aspect of it

Jul 19, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

likbez , July 19, 2018 at 4:44 am

Globalization is not a one-dimensional phenomenon, and some of its aspects are still intact. Hollywood dominance, Internet, English language dominance, West technological dominance, will not reverse any time soon.

What is under attack by Trump, Brexit, etc. is neoliberal globalization, and, especially financial globalization, free movement of labor and outsourcing of manufacturing and services (offshoring).

Neoliberal globalization was also based on the dollar as world reserve currency (and oil trading in dollars exclusively). But this role of dollar recently is under attack due to the rise of China. Several "anti-dollar" blocks emerged.

Trump tariffs are also anathema for "classic neoliberalism" and essentially convert "classic neoliberalism" into "national neoliberalism" on the state level. BTW it looks like Russia switched to "national neoliberalism" earlier than the USA. No surprise that Trump feels some affinity to Putin ;-)

Attacks against free labor movement also on the rise and this is another nail in the coffin of classic neoliberalism. In several countries, including the USA the neoliberal elite (especially financial elite after 2008, despite that no banksters were killed by crowds) does not feel safe given animosity caused by the promotion of immigration and resorts of conversion of the state into national security state and neo-McCarthyism to suppress dissent.

I think those attacks will continue, immigration will be curtailed, and "classic neoliberalism" will be transformed into something different. Not necessarily better.

Several trends are also connected with the gradual slipping of the power of the USA as the chief enforcer of the neoliberal globalization. Which is partially happened due to the stupidity and arrogance of the USA neoliberal elite and neocons.

Another factor in play is the total, catastrophic loss of power of neoliberal propaganda -- people started asking questions, and neoliberal myths no longer hold any spell on population (or at least much less spell). The success of Bernie Sanders during the last election (DNC was forced to resort to dirty tricks to derail him) is one indication of this trend. This "collapse of ideology" spells great troubles for the USA, as previously it spells great troubles for the USSR.

"Trumpism" as I understand it tried to patch the situation by two major strategies:

(1) splitting Russia from China

(2) Attempt to acquire dominant position in regions rick in hydrocarbons (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, etc)

But so far the decline of neoliberalism looks like Irreversible. It never fully recovered from the deep crisis of 2008 and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Another powerful factor that works against neoliberal globalization is the end of cheap oil. How it will play out is unclear, Much depends whether we will have a Seneca cliff in oil production or not. And if yes, how soon.

This is the end of classic neoliberalism, no question about it, and the collapse of neoliberal globalization is just one aspect of it

[Jul 18, 2018] The USA and Russia Two Sides of the Same Neoioliberal Coin

Notable quotes:
"... There are many modern myths. One of them is about the events of 1989 as being the culmination of a grand historical struggle for freedom and liberty. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For years prior to 1989 the West through a combination of both legal business and criminal activity had interpenetrated the Communist elites with lucrative deals and promises of all kinds. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin by Dan Corjescu

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.

-- Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar"

There are many modern myths. One of them is about the events of 1989 as being the culmination of a grand historical struggle for freedom and liberty. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For years prior to 1989 the West through a combination of both legal business and criminal activity had interpenetrated the Communist elites with lucrative deals and promises of all kinds.

This situation was even more pronounced in "non-aligned" Yugoslavia who for years had maintained CIA and American and West European business contacts.

In effect, the "cold war" witnessed a rapid convergence between the economic and power interests of both Western and Communist elites.

The "Communists" (in name only of course) quickly realized the economic benefits available to them through at times open at times clandestine cooperation with Western business/criminal interests.

Eventually, Communist elites realized that they had an unprecedented economic opportunity on their hands: state privatization made possible, in part, with active Western participation.

For them, "Freedom" meant the freedom to get rich beyond their wildest dreams.

And the 1990's were just that. A paradise for thieving on an unimaginable scale all under the rubric of the rebirth of "capitalism and freedom".

The true outcome of that decade was that the old communist elites not only retained their social and political power behind the scenes; they also were able to enrich themselves beyond anything the communist dictatorships could ever hope to offer them in the past.

Yes, the price was to give up imperial, national, and ideological ambitions. But it was a very small price to pay; since the East European elites had ceased to believe in any of those things years earlier.

The only firm belief they still held was the economic betterment of themselves and their families through the acquisition by any means of as many asset classes as possible. In effect, they became the mirror image of their "enemy" the "imperialist capitalist West".

This was not a case of historical dialectics but historical convergence. What appeared as a world divided was actually a world waiting to be made whole through the basest of criminal business activity.

But being clever thieves they knew how to hide themselves and their doings behind superficially morally impeccable figures such as Vaclav Havel and Lech Wałęsa, to name just a few. These "dissidents" would be the faces they would use to make a good part of the world believe that 1989 was a narrative of freedom and not outright pubic theft which it was.

Yes, people in the east, even in Russia, are freer now than they were. But it should never be forgotten that the events of 1989/1990 were not even remotely about those revolutionary dreams.

It was about something much more mundane and sordid. It was about greed. It was about the maintenance of power. And finally it was about money.

How deep has the Western nexus of power and wealth gone into the heart of the East? So far indeed that one can easily question to what extent a country like Russia is truly a "national" state anymore and rather just a territory open to exploitation by both local and global elites.

For that matter, we can ask the same question about the USA.

... ... ...

[Jul 18, 2018] Lunatic Politics (Part 1) - Russiagate Is A Religion

Michael Krieger @LibertyBlitz "Russiagate is becoming a religion, and the intelligence agencies are its church."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

10:55 AM-Jul 17,2018

by Tyler Durden Wed, 07/18/2018 - 08:00 67 SHARES Authored by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

As the Snowden documents and David Sanger's great new book and other books make plain, and as U.S. officials are wont to brag, the U.S. intelligence services break into computers and computer networks abroad at an astounding rate, certainly on a greater scale than any other intelligence service in the world. Every one of these intrusions in another country violates that country's criminal laws prohibiting unauthorized computer access and damage, no less than the Russian violations of U.S. laws outlined in Mueller's indictment...

It is no response to say that the United States doesn't meddle in foreign elections, because it has in the past - at least as recently as Bill Clinton's intervention in the Russian presidential election of 1996 and possibly as recently as the Hillary Clinton State Department's alleged intervention in Russia's 2011 legislative elections .

And during the Cold War the United States intervened in numerous foreign elections, more than twice as often as the Soviet Union.

Intelligence history expert Loch Johnson told Scott Shane that the 2016 Russia electoral interference is "the cyber-age version of standard United States practice for decades, whenever American officials were worried about a foreign vote."

The CIA's former chief of Russia operations, Steven L. Hall, told Shane: "If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all." Hall added that "the United States 'absolutely' has carried out such election influence operations historically, and I hope we keep doing it."

Lawfare : Uncomfortable Questions in the Wake of Russia Indictment 2.0 and Trump's Press Conference With Putin

Nothing gets the phony "Resistance," corporate media and neocons more hysterical than when Trump isn't belligerent enough while meeting with foreign leaders abroad. While the pearl clutching was intense during the North Korea summit, the reoccurring, systematic outrage spectacle was taken to entirely new levels of stupidity and hyperbole during yesterday's meeting with Putin in Finland.

The clown parade really got going after compulsive liar and former head of the CIA under Barack Obama, John Brennan, accused Trump of treason on Twitter -- which resistance drones dutifully retweeted, liked and permanently enshrined within the gospel of Russiagate.

Some people hate Trump so intensely they're willing to take the word of a professional liar and manipulator as scripture.

In fact, Brennan is so uniquely skilled at the dark art of deception, Trevor Timm, executive direction of the Freedom of the Press foundation described him in the following manner in a must read 2014 article :

"this is the type of spy who apologizes even though he's not sorry, who lies because he doesn't like to tell the truth." The article also refers to him as "the most talented liar in Washington."

This is the sort of hero the phony "resistance" is rallying around. No thank you.

It wasn't just Brennan, of course. The mental disorder colloquially known as Trump Derangement Syndrome is widely distributed throughout society at this point. Baseless accusations of treason were thrown around casually by all sorts of TDS sufferers, including sitting members of Congress. To see the extent of the disease, take a look at the show put on by Democratic Congressman from Washington state, Rep. Adam Smith.

Via The Hill :

"At every turn of his trip to Europe, President Trump has followed a script that parallels Moscow's plan to weaken and divide America's allies and partners and undermine democratic values. There is an extensive factual record suggesting that President Trump's campaign and the Russians conspired to influence our election for President Trump," Smith, a top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said in an official statement .

"Now Trump is trying to cover it up. There is no sugar coating this. It is hard to see President Trump siding with Vladimir Putin over our own intelligence community and our criminal investigators as anything other than treason."

Those are some serious accusations. He must surely have a strong argument to support such proclamations, right? Wrong. Turns out it was all show, pure politics.

In an interview with The Seattle Times, Smith expanded on his "treason" comment, saying Trump legally did not commit treason but has committed other impeachable offenses.

"Treason might have been a little bit of hyperbole," Smith told The Seattle Times . "There is no question in my mind that the United States has the need to begin an impeachment investigation."

It says a lot that the resistance itself doesn't even believe its own nonsense. They're just using hyperbolic and dangerous language to make people crazy and feed more TDS.

Here's yet another example of a wild-eyed Democratic Congressman sounding utterly bloodthirsty and unhinged. Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee is openly saying the U.S. is at war with Russia.

From The Hill :

"No question about it," Cohen told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on "Rising" when asked whether the Russian hacking and propaganda effort constituted an act of war.

"It was a foreign interference with our basic Democratic values. The underpinnings of Democratic society is elections, and free elections, and they invaded our country," he continued.

Cohen went on to say that the U.S. should have countered with a cyber attack on Russia.

"A cyber attack that made Russian society valueless. They could have gone into Russian banks, Russian government. Our cyber abilities are such that we could have attacked them with a cyber attack that would have crippled Russia," he said.

This is a very sick individual.

While the above is incredibly twisted, it's become increasingly clear that Russiagate has become something akin to a religion. It's adherents have become so attached to the story that Trump's "wholly in the pocket of Putin," they're increasingly lobbing serious and baseless accusations against people who fail to acquiesce to their dogma.

I was a victim of this back in November 2016 when I was falsely slandered in The Washington Post's ludicrous and now infamous PropOrNot article.

me title=

More recently, we've seen MSNBC pundit Malcom Nance (ex-military/intelligence) call Glenn Greenwald a Russian agent (without evidence of course), followed by "journalist" David Corn calling Rand Paul a "traitor" for stating indisputable facts .

me title=

Calling someone a traitor for stating obvious facts that threaten the hysteria you're trying to cultivate is a prime example of how this whole thing has turned into some creepy D.C. establishment religion. If these people have such a solid case and the facts are on their side, there's no need to resort to such demented craziness. It does nothing other than promote societal insanity and push the unconvinced away.

It's because of stuff like this that we're no longer able to have a real conversation about anything in this country (many Trump cheerleaders employ the same tactics) . This is a deadly thing for any society and will be explored in Part 2.

* * *

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[Jul 18, 2018] Psychoanalysing NATO Gaslighting Zero Hedge

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patrick Armstrong via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

NOTE: Because "NATO" these days is little more than a box of spare parts out of which Washington assembles "coalitions of the willing" , it's easier for me to write "NATO" than "Washington plus/minus these or those minions".

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has called on Russia to explain "exactly what has gone on" after two people were exposed to the Novichok nerve agent in Wiltshire. ( BBC )

The Russian state could put this wrong right. They could tell us what happened. What they did. And fill in some of the significant gaps that we are trying to pursue. We have said they can come and tell us what happened. I'm waiting for the phone call from the Russian state. The offer is there. They are the ones who could fill in all the clues to keep people safe. ( UK security minister Ben Wallace )

Leaving aside their egregious flouting of the elemental principle of English justice, note that they're uttering this logical idiocy: Russia must have done it because it hasn't proved it didn't . Note also, in Javid's speech, the amusing suggestion that Russia keeps changing its story; but to fit into the official British story "novichok" must be an instantly lethal slow acting poison which dissipates quickly but lasts for months .

This is an attempt to manipulate our perception of reality . In a previous essay I discussed NATO's projection of its own actions onto Russia. In this piece I want to discuss another psychological manipulation – gaslighting .

The expression comes from the movie Gaslight in which the villain manipulates her reality to convince his wife that she is insane. Doubt the official Skripal story and it is you – you "Russian troll" – who is imagining things. Only Russian trolls would question Litvinenko's deathbed accusation written in perfect English handed to us by a Berezovskiy flunky; or the shootdown of MH17; or the invasion of Ukraine; or the cyber attack on Estonia. Only a Russian troll would observe that the fabulously expensive NATO intelligence agencies apparently get their information from Bellingcat. Argumentum ad trollem is everywhere: count the troll accusations here or admire the clever anticipatory use of the technique there .

This is classic gaslighting – I'm telling the truth, you're the crazy one.

We may illustrate the eleven signs of "gaslighting" given in Psychiatry Today by Stephanie A. Sarkis with recent events.

They tell blatant lies.

The Skripals were poisoned by an incredibly deadly nerve agent that left them with no visible symptoms for hours but not so deadly that it killed them; at least not at Easter; nor the policeman; a nerve agent that could only have been made in Russia although its recipe was published in the open media ; that poison having been administered on a doorknob that each had to have touched at the exact same minute that no one else touched; a nerve agent so deadly that they only bothered to clean up the sites 51 days later. And so on: a different story every day. But your mind must be controlled by Putin if you smell a falsehood at any point. And, now we have it all over again: apparently the fiendishly clever Russian assassins smeared the doorknob and then, rather than getting out of town ASAP, sauntered over into a park to toss the container . (Remember the fiendishly clever Russian assassins who spread polonium everywhere?)

And, speaking of proven, long term, repeating liars: remember when accusing the British government of complicity in torture renditions was a conspiracy theory ? Well, it turns out the conspiracy was by the other side . "Conspiracy Theorist" is the perfect gaslighting accusation, by the way: you're the crazy one.

They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.

The Skripal case gives a perfect illustration: here's the UK Foreign Secretary saying Porton Down told him it was Russian ("absolutely categorical" ) And here's the UK Foreign Office disappearing the statement: We never said Porton Down confirmed the origin. It's rare to get such a quick exposure of a lie, so it's useful to have this example. Here is an obvious fake from Bellingcat . Already the Douma story is being re-polished now that the OPCW has said no organophosphates .

Most of the time it takes years to reveal the lie: gaslighters know the details will be forgotten while the impression remains. 64 years later we learn the "conspiracy theorists" were right about the CIA/UK involvement in the Iran coup . It's rather amazing how many people still believe the proven liars this time around.

They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.

Russians cheat at the sports you follow, scatter nerve agents and radioactive material in places you could be in, sneak into the voting booth with you, blow up airplanes you might be on and tear up the " very fabric of our democracy ." Your favourite actor tells you " we are at war with Russia ".

And the children! The boy on the beach . The boy in the ambulance . Bana from Aleppo . Miraculous recoveries . Dramatic rescues with camera! Dead children speaking . And finally, the little girl, Trump and the Time cover .

If it's a child, they're gaslighting you.

They wear you down over time.

Skripal story fading? How about a CW attack in Syria? No? Back to MH17: same story with one new obviously suspicious detail . Pussy Riot is forgotten and Pavlenskiy an embarrassment , but " Russian bear in Moscow World Cup parade video sparks PETA outrage "! This is what is known as a Gish Gallop : the gaslighter makes 47 assertions, while you're thinking about the first, he makes 20 more: in former times it was recognised by the the folk saying that "a fool can ask more questions than ten wise men can answer". But the fools quickly come up with more: dead dogs in Russia: without tuk-tuks , with tuk-tuks ; your choice.

You are worn down by ten new fake outrages every month: all expressed in simplistic terms. How much context is stuffed into this imbecilic headline? The Plot Against Europe: Putin, Hungary and Russia's New Iron Curtain . How many thousand words, how many hours to discuss it intelligently? Too late! Time for " Trump and Putin's Too-Friendly Summit " (NYT 28 June). Forget that! " Sexism at Russia World Cup the worst in history as female fans and broadcasters are harassed ". (Telegraph 30 June). Gone! " We already gave Syria to Putin, so what's left for Trump to say? " (WaPo 5 July) Stop wondering! " Amesbury poisoning: Here's what we know about the novichok victims " (Sky News 6 July). No! Trumputin again! " Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart -- Or His Handler? " (NY Mag 8 July). Gish Gallop. The sheer volume of easily-made accusations forces two conclusions: they're right and you're wrong (smoke: fire) or, more simply, eventually you – you crazy one! – give up.

Their actions do not match their words.

They bomb hospitals on purpose , we bomb them by accident . Discussed further here but the essence of the point is that

it would be physically impossible for Russia to be more destructive than NATO is.

If you want a single word to summarize American war-making in this last decade and a half, I would suggest rubble.

They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.

There are direct rewards of course: cue Udo Ulfkotte ; many benefits to swimming with the stream; swimming the other way, not so many. It's only after they retire that British generals question the story, the cynic observes. German generals too . Maybe even US generals .

But for the rest of us, NATO bathes us in gush: "NATO's Enduring Mission – Defending Values, Together" . Together , our values: we – you and I – have the good values. NATO loves to praise itself " the Alliance also contributes to peace and stability through crisis management operations and partnerships. " Remember Libya? " A model intervention " said the NATO GenSek of the time. Here is the view on the ground . Most of the "migrants" tearing Europe apart are fleeing the destruction of NATO's wars. NATO backs (plus/minus minions) the intervention in Mali , a country destabilised by its destruction of Libya. Cue the positive reinforcement: " Projecting Stability: an agenda for action ". In NATOland the gaslight burns bright: " Nato chief: Vladimir Putin 'weaponising' refugee crisis to 'break' Europe ". NATO keeps pouring butterscotch sauce on the rubble: " NATO is based on some core values – democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty " (25 June).

All I can say, over and over again, is Libya . NATO destroyed Libya, weird as it was, killed Qaddafi, weird as he was, and smugly congratulated itself: " NATO's Victory in Libya: The Right Way to Run an Intervention ". Ubi solitudinum faciunt pacem appelant. But should that thought occur to you, you're part of " Russia's secret plan to destroy EU and NATO ".

They know confusion weakens people.

Remember PropOrNot ? Sites that do not agree with the Establishment are Russian bots! Authenticated experts! 100% reliable! The WaPo published the list; when under attack even from proponents of the Putindunnit hysteria , it feebly backtracked: it "does not itself vouch for the validity". Vermont power grid hack? WaPo fell for that one too . Confusion from the endless Gish Gallop about Putin: in December 2015 I compiled a number: Aspergers, pychopath, slouching and on and on and on .

You may be confused but the gaslighter isn't: Russia's to blame for whatever-it-was!

They project.

NATO projects all the time and this headline from the NYT is classic: " Russia's Military Drills Near NATO Border Raise Fears of Aggression ". I discuss NATO's projection here .

They try to align people against you.

NATO exerts a continual pressure for unanimity. Again, the Skripal story is a good example: London accused Russia and, " in solidarity ", Russian diplomats were expelled all over the world. Allies took its word for it. Now the doubts: in Germany especially . Sanctions must be imposed on Russia because we must be in solidarity with Kiev. "Solidarity" on migrants . " Solidarity " is perhaps the greatest virtue in NATOland. We will hear more pleas for solidarity as NATO dies : when mere "solidarity" is the only reason left; there's no reason left.

They tell you or others that you are crazy.

It also must be said that when elected officials -- including members of Congress -- and media platforms amplify propaganda disseminated by Russian trolls, they are aiding the Russians in their efforts.

The goal is to undermine democracy. So you want America to look unstable and Americans not to trust each other.

How Russian Trolls Won American Hearts andMinds

An " existential threat posed by digitally accelerated disinformation ". So no forgiveness to you, crazy Putin trolls. And don't dare doubt that American democracy is so feeble that it can be directed by a few Facebook ads. Never forget that NATO's opponents are crazy: Putin is a " madman "; Qaddafi was " crazy "; Saddam Hussein " insane "; Milosevic " rabid ". Only crazy people would defend crazy people.

They tell you everyone else is a liar.

Honest people don't have to tell you they're trustworthy, and neither, once upon a time, did the BBC . The Atlantic Council smoothly moves from " Why Is the Kremlin So Fixated on Phantom Fascists? " in May 2017 to " Ukraine's Got a Real Problem with Far-Right Violence (And No, RT Didn't Write This Headline) " in June 2018. But it still calls Russia the liar: " Why the Kremlin's Lies Stick " (May 2018). The Atlantic Council hopes you're dumb enough not to notice that Russia hasn't changed its line but the gaslighters have. (Remember O'Brien and two plus two?)

Russian Federation is not the USSR.

I said it the last time: the USSR did lots of things in its time – influencing, fiddling elections, fake news, gaslighting and so on. But, in those days the Communist Party was the " leading and guiding force " but today it's the opposition . Things have changed in Moscow, but NATO rolls on.

Some hope, though.

While many people are still taken in by the gaslighters, there are hopeful signs. Once upon a time Internet versions of the mass media allowed comments. Gradually, one by one, they shut down their comments sections because of "trolls", "fake news" and offended "standards" but really because of disagreement. Perhaps the most famous case is that of the Guardian: an entire website , has been created by people whose comments were rejected because they violated "community standards". I always read the comments in the Daily Mail, especially the best rated, and on the Skripal stories, the comments are very sceptical indeed of the official story. For example .

This is rather encouraging: for gaslighting really to work, the gaslighter either has to be in such a position of power that he can completely control the victim's surroundings or in such a position of authority that the victim cannot imagine doubting what he says. Those days are gone.

[Jul 18, 2018] This two part, excellent documentary on Russia in the 90's is all about VVP and Major Russian Jewish Oligarch Boris Berezovsky

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com


Unknown User -> Billy the Poet Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:31 Permalink

Berezovsky's Daughter Speaks Out: British Intelligence Killed Former Asset to Prevent Him Leaking

Conscious Reviver -> Unknown User Mon, 07/16/2018 - 20:18 Permalink

This two part, excellent documentary on Russia in the 90's is all about VVP and Major Russian Jewish Oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Boris took over the Kremlin. Boris shot himself in the foot, but wound up saving Russia when he picked Putin to succeed alchoholic Yeltsin. Putin took the country back.

Larry Summers, Harvard Jew American oligarch led the rape and looting of Russia.

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (1/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Cl8lSv9Is#

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (2/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2nNtynZAiI

Killdo -> Conscious Reviver Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:32 Permalink

also described in Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine- the rise of the disaster capitalism

[Jul 18, 2018] Fox News post Summit interview with Putin.

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Boing_Snap -> Not Too Important Mon, 07/16/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

Fox News post Summit interview with Putin.

https://youtu.be/rHY8yG4mVzs

Conscious Reviver -> IridiumRebel Mon, 07/16/2018 - 20:07 Permalink

Great, informative, entertaining documentary on Russia in the 90's.

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (1/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Cl8lSv9Is#

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (2/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2nNtynZAiI

nmewn -> Not Too Important Mon, 07/16/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

Podesta failing to register as a foreign agent for Russia, Browder greasing the palms of the Klintons with "illicit cash" purloined from Russia...lol...oh man, this is really getting interesting!

Ahem...and just where in the world is...Mr.Mifsud? ;-)

[Jul 18, 2018] Browder was heavily involved in the looting. He is heavy in distributing anti-Russian propaganda in a heavily Jewish controlled media, and he was all in for Clinton.

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com


I Am Jack's Ma -> overbet Mon, 07/16/2018 - 18:56 Permalink

8 of 10, and all top 5 of Hillary's (on the books) donors were Jews - a group that is under 3% of the US population.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/10/top-five-clinton-donors-are-jewish-how-anti-semitic-is-this-fact.html

It has been reported in multiple mainstream and Jewish news sources that Jews contribute about 50% of donations to the Democratic Party.

Wherever one looks in print or tv news media, given that Jews are <3% of the US *and* Russian population, any objective review of

anti-Russian commentators would reveal a massive over-representation of Jews.

https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/its-time-drop-jew-taboo/ri22186

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/06/phil-giraldi/hating-russia-is-a-full-time-job/

After the collapse of the USSR, under Yeltsin, a large handful of 'oligarchs' grew immensely wealthy by buying Russian assets on the cheap. This was part of a privitization drive largely overseen by American economists.

The oligarchs were mostly Jews. The chief economic advisors were largely Jews.

http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/harvard_mafia.shtml

https://www.thenation.com/article/harvard-boys-do-russia/

These are *facts*

Responding to my thanks for granting me the audience at such a hectic time, Boris Abramovich commented with a faint smile: "You would be writing the book in any case ..."

I understood that my visit was somewhat imposed on him so I got right to the point:

"Boris Abramovich, the real reason for writing this book is this. As you probably know there is a television show called 'The Puppets.' Puppets of Yeltsin, Yastrzhembsky, Chernomyrdin, Kulikov, and others perform. But the main puppeteer is behind the scenes -- his name is Shenderovich. And in real life there are Yeltsin, Kiriyenko, Fedorov, Stepashin and the others. But the main puppeteer has a long Jewish name: Berezovsky-Gusinsky- Smolensky-Khodorkovsky, and so on.

"This is to say that for the first time in a thousand years, since the first Jews settled in Russia, we hold the real power in this country. I want to ask you straight out: How do you intend to use it? What do you intend to do in this country? Cast it into the chaos of poverty or raise it from the mud? Do you understand that a chance like this comes only once in a thousand years? Do you understand your responsibility to our [Jewish] people for your actions?"

Boris Abramovich responded with some difficulty: "Of course, as you see, financial power is in Jewish hands, but we have never looked at this from the point of view of historical responsibility."

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v17/v17n6p13_Michaels.html

Putin stopped the fire sale, essentially by dividing the oligarchs, leveraging some against others.

Browder was heavily involved in the looting. He is heavy in distributing anti-Russian propaganda in a heavily Jewish controlled media, and he was all in for Clinton.

And he wants Trump impeached (I recommend reading the article below if you read just 1 link)

Most readers will identify Bill Broder with Hermitage Capital, but few will recall that the investment firm was also funded by one Beny Steimetz, the Israeli oligarch and financier just arrested (August 14) by Israeli and Swiss anti-corruption officials for widescale fraud and money laundering. The Russia privatization shark who was once Israel's richest man is a subject for another report. I only bring him up here to point at two facets of this war on Putin. First, the Jewish connection in all this is something that just needs to come out. Secondly, the ring of profiteers bent on Putin's demise all have gigantic skeletons in their wardrobes. A story citing one Putin hater, when investigated, always leads to ten more. This is no coincidence.

Back to Browder, his Hermitage was at one time was the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia. That was before Vladimir Putin put a stop to the rape of Russia's legacy and the theft of her assets. This is undeniable fact, and even the lowliest of Russian peasants know it by now. Browder, a Chicago Jew, set out to profit from Russian privatization after Yeltsin, but was thwarted like other sharks when Putin's hammer fell on other mafiosos. RICO suits, libel cases, tax evasion charges, and ties to some of the seediest characters in world finance highlight the man who pushed the now famous Magnitsky Act into US foreign policy play. It's no coincidence that Browder has emerged as a central player in the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. The privateer who made billions off Russia privatization turned into a human rights activist, and now he's bent on seeing Donald Trump impeached!

https://m.journal-neo.org/2017/09/16/vladimir-putin-and-russia-versus-zionist-fairytales/

The war on Russia is very heavily a product of Jews pursuing Jewish group interests, internationally.

A man named Henry Ford once wrote a book on the topic. Of all the criticism it received and receives, that it is 'hate,' one will seldom find any effort to dispute its accuracy.

RationalLuddite -> I Am Jack's Ma Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:33 Permalink

Terrific post I Am Jack. And also thank you for emphasising the unholy convergence of vested interests in Putin Russia demonization - the Jewish bankers raping Rusdia in the 90s on a scale not seen since the Mongols hordes, and Western oligarchs seeing a chance to become even more insanely wealthy (hence the London, Wall St, Pentagon, Fed, DC, Brussels etc involvement).

Putin is an extraordinary and immensely intelligent and brave individual who divided and knee-capped the world mafia. THIS is why he is demonised, not because he is some evil Tsar of Mordor. That being said he hasn't done it alone - the people of Russia made huge mistakes by allowing communism in, and economic genocide in the 1990s was wilful influcted upon them, but their resilience is extraordinary.

I hope they are all watching their backs. Putin if all people stated that he is careful about cornering rats with now way out, so i have a feeling that things are going to get unpredictable ...

RationalLuddite -> El Vaquero Mon, 07/16/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/hating-russia-is-a-full-time-job/

Good article. Remember that Bill Browder's grandfather was head of the American Communist Party in the 1930s ...

The Killing of William Browder is compulsory reading if you want to sssure yourself about that lying theiving NPD sack of s*** Browder. Lots on him on Sott etc.

https://youtu.be/ryVavTF6hR0

Yeah - he's got nothing to hide.

I did post about 3 months back that Browder and the trillion dollar rape Russia in the 1990s , the Money Plane etc are the key to understand current events, Putin and what is being covered up now, in my opinion, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to get traction.

Cardinal Fang -> RationalLuddite Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:09 Permalink

Yeah but $400 mill is what he put on the table, you know there is more shit behind this...

[Jul 18, 2018] Russia would like to ask a few questions to the US officials believed to have HELPED Browder funnel 400K to Clinton and probably avoid paying tax on 1.5 billion in Russia AND the US...

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Whoa Dammit -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:39 Permalink

I'd not seen the AP reporters question that triggered this before. It looks like the reporter was trying to embarrass both Putin and Trump but wound up getting his ass, Clinton's ass, and the asses of the intelligence community handed to him instead.

wafm -> Whoa Dammit Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:39 Permalink

too right. If I remember correctly, it was in the context of Putin saying Russia is open to have FBI guys come to question the 12 GRU guys indicted (no proof yet) by Mueller.

In return, he then said Russia would like to ask a few questions to the US officials believed to have HELPED Browder funnel $400K to Clinton and probably avoid paying tax on 1.5 billion in Russia AND the US...

Browder has to be on top of the US wanted list in the not too distant future or there really is no fuckin justice.

BROWDER IS A FUCKIN TRAITOR, LOCK HIM UP!

[Jul 18, 2018] Putin certainly didn't pluck that lying idiot's name randomly

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

RationalLuddite -> overbet Mon, 07/16/2018 - 18:37 Permalink

+50 Overbet. I posted before i read yours. I have tired of trying to convince people that 90s Russia and the thefts then and subsequent covering of crimes is STILL the key to understanding the Deep States obsession and fear of Putin and Russia. Soros, Clinton's, Chubias, the FED's off the books money printing, London money laundering , EU buying the stolen movables etc - they are all there. Browder's animus is also driving much behind the scenes with 'Russiagate'. Look people - you will see. Putin certainly didn't pluck that lying idiot's name randomly.

I urge people to at least read the 90s chapter in the Killing of William Browder (free online PDF) to begin to understand what is going on now.

shrimpythai -> RationalLuddite Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:34 Permalink

https://dxczjjuegupb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/TheKilli free pdf download 218 pages

RationalLuddite -> shrimpythai Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:44 Permalink

Thanks heaps Shrimp.

The appendix on Jacob Rothschild alone and Yukos makes it worth the read. But if you read nothing else, read the chapters on Browder's interrogation and Russia in the 1990s - easy reads and give a great introduction to this orgy of psycopathy and mendacity. They are all connected

[Jul 18, 2018] Pepe Escobar Russophobia Is A 24-7 Industry by Pepe Escobar

Russophobia feeds considerable part of official Washington (including monstrous intelligence agencies) and lion share of think tanks. As Upton Sinclair quipped: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
Notable quotes:
"... Russophobia is a 24/7 industry, and all concerned, including its media vassals, remain absolutely livid with the "disgraceful" Trump-Putin presser. Trump has "colluded with Russia." How could the President of the United States promote "moral equivalence" with a "world-class thug"? ..."
"... As if this was not enough, Trump doubles down invoking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server. "I really do want to see the server. Where is the server? I want to know. Where is the server and what is the server saying?" ..."
"... Trump was unfazed. He knows that the DNC computer hard-drives -- the source of an alleged "hacking" -- simply "disappeared" while in the custody of US intel, FBI included. He knows the bandwidth necessary for file transfer was much larger than a hack might have managed in the time allowed. It was a leak, a download into a flash-drive. ..."
"... Additionally, Putin knows that Mueller knows he will never be able to drag 12 Russian intelligence agents into a US courtroom. So the -- debunked -- indictment, announced only three days before Helsinki, was nothing more than a pre-emptive, judicial hand grenade. ..."
"... No wonder John Brennan, a former CIA director under the Obama administration, is fuming. "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to exceed the threshold of 'high crimes and misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin." ..."
"... No "grand bargain" on Iran seems to be in the cards. The top adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, was in Moscow last week. The Moscow-Tehran entente cordiale seems unbreakable. In parallel, as Asia Times has learned, Bashar al-Assad has told Moscow he might even agree to Iran leaving Syria, but Israel would have to return the occupied Golan Heights. So, the status quo remains. ..."
"... Putin did mention both presidents discussed the Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action and essentially they, strongly, agree to disagree. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have written a letter formally rejecting an appeal for carve-outs in finance, energy and healthcare by Germany, France and the UK. A maximum economic blockade remains the name of the game. Putin may have impressed on Trump the possible dire consequences of a US oil embargo on Iran, and even the (far-fetched) scenario of Tehran blocking the Strait of Hormuz. ..."
Jul 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

US President stirs up a hornet's nest with his press conference alongside his Russian counterpart, but it seems that no 'grand bargain' was struck on Syria, and on Iran they appear to strongly disagree

"The Cold War is a thing of the past." By the time President Putin said as much during preliminary remarks at his joint press conference with President Trump in Helsinki, it was clear this would not stand. Not after so much investment by American conservatives in Cold War 2.0.

Russophobia is a 24/7 industry, and all concerned, including its media vassals, remain absolutely livid with the "disgraceful" Trump-Putin presser. Trump has "colluded with Russia." How could the President of the United States promote "moral equivalence" with a "world-class thug"?

Multiple opportunities for apoplectic outrage were in order.

Trump: "Our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed. As of about four hours ago."

Putin: "The United States could be more decisive in nudging Ukrainian leadership."

Trump: "There was no collusion I beat Hillary Clinton easily."

Putin: "We should be guided by facts. Can you name a single fact that would definitively prove collusion? This is nonsense."

Then, the clincher : the Russian president calls [Special Counsel] Robert Mueller's 'bluff', offering to interrogate the Russians indicted for alleged election meddling in the US if Mueller makes an official request to Moscow. But in exchange, Russia would expect the US to question Americans on whether Moscow should face charges for illegal actions.

Trump hits it out of the park when asked whether he believes US intelligence, which concluded that Russia did meddle in the election, or Putin, who strongly denies it.

"President Putin says it's not Russia. I don't see any reason why it would be."

As if this was not enough, Trump doubles down invoking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server. "I really do want to see the server. Where is the server? I want to know. Where is the server and what is the server saying?"

It was inevitable that a strategically crucial summit between the Russian and American presidencies would be hijacked by the dementia of the US news cycle.

Trump was unfazed. He knows that the DNC computer hard-drives -- the source of an alleged "hacking" -- simply "disappeared" while in the custody of US intel, FBI included. He knows the bandwidth necessary for file transfer was much larger than a hack might have managed in the time allowed. It was a leak, a download into a flash-drive.

Additionally, Putin knows that Mueller knows he will never be able to drag 12 Russian intelligence agents into a US courtroom. So the -- debunked -- indictment, announced only three days before Helsinki, was nothing more than a pre-emptive, judicial hand grenade.

No wonder John Brennan, a former CIA director under the Obama administration, is fuming. "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to exceed the threshold of 'high crimes and misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin."

How Syria and Ukraine are linked

However, there are reasons to expect at least minimal progress on three fronts in Helsinki : a solution for the Syria tragedy, an effort to limit nuclear weapons and save the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty signed in 1987 by Reagan and Gorbachev, and a positive drive to normalize US-Russia relations, away from Cold War 2.0.

Trump knew he had nothing to offer Putin to negotiate on Syria. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) now controls virtually 90% of national territory. Russia is firmly established in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially after signing a 49-year agreement with Damascus.

Even considering careful mentions of Israel on both sides, Putin certainly did not agree to force Iran out of Syria.

No "grand bargain" on Iran seems to be in the cards. The top adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, was in Moscow last week. The Moscow-Tehran entente cordiale seems unbreakable. In parallel, as Asia Times has learned, Bashar al-Assad has told Moscow he might even agree to Iran leaving Syria, but Israel would have to return the occupied Golan Heights. So, the status quo remains.

Putin did mention both presidents discussed the Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action and essentially they, strongly, agree to disagree. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have written a letter formally rejecting an appeal for carve-outs in finance, energy and healthcare by Germany, France and the UK. A maximum economic blockade remains the name of the game. Putin may have impressed on Trump the possible dire consequences of a US oil embargo on Iran, and even the (far-fetched) scenario of Tehran blocking the Strait of Hormuz.

Judging by what both presidents said, and what has been leaked so far, Trump may not have offered an explicit US recognition of Crimea for Russia, or an easing of Ukraine-linked sanctions.

It's reasonable to picture a very delicate ballet in terms of what they really discussed in relation to Ukraine. Once again, the only thing Trump could offer on Ukraine is an easing of sanctions. But for Russia the stakes are much higher.

Putin clearly sees Southwest Asia and Central and Eastern Europe as totally integrated. The Black Sea basin is where Russia intersects with Ukraine, Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Or, historically, where the former Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg empires converged.

A Greater Black Sea implies the geopolitical convergence of what's happening in both Syria and Ukraine. That's why for the Kremlin only an overall package matters. It's not by accident that Washington identified these two nodes -- destabilizing Damascus and turning the tables in Kiev -- to cause problems for Moscow.

Putin sees a stable Syria and a stable Ukraine as essential to ease his burden in dealing with the Balkans and the Baltics. We're back once again to that classic geopolitical staple, the Intermarium ("between the seas"). That's the ultra-contested rimland from Estonia in the north to Bulgaria in the south -- and to the Caucasus in the east. Once, that used to frame the clash between Germany and Russia. Now, that frames the clash between the US and Russia.

In a fascinating echo of the summit in Helsinki, Western strategists do lose their sleep gaming on Russia being able to "Finlandize" this whole rimland.

And that brings us, inevitably, to what could be termed The German Question. What is Putin's ultimate goal: a quite close business and strategic relationship with Germany (German business is in favor)? Or some sort of entente cordiale with the US? EU diplomats in Brussels are openly discussing that underneath all the thunder and lightning, this is the holy of the holies.

Take a walk on the wild side

The now notorious key takeaway from a Trump interview at his golf club in Turnberry, Scotland, before Helsinki, may offer some clues.

"Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe. Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn't mean they are bad. It doesn't mean anything. It means that they are competitive."

Putin certainly knows it. But even Trump, while not being a Clausewitzian strategist, may have had an intuition that the post-WWII liberal order, built by a hegemonic US and bent on permanent US military hegemony over the Eurasian landmass while subduing a vassal Europe, is waning .

While Trump firebombs this United States of Europe as an "unfair" competitor of the US, it's essential to remember that it was the White House that asked for the Helsinki summit, not the Kremlin.

Trump treats the EU with undisguised disdain. He would love nothing better than for the EU to dissolve. His Arab "partners" can be easily controlled by fear. He has all but declared economic war on China and is on tariff overdrive -- even as the IMF warns that the global economy runs the risk of losing around $500 billion in the process. And he faces the ultimate intractable, the China-Russia-Iran axis of Eurasian integration, which simply won't go away.

So, talking to "world-class thug" Putin -- in usual suspect terminology -- is a must. A divide-and-rule here, a deal there -- who knows what some hustling will bring? To paraphrase Lou Reed, New Trump City "is the place where they say "Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side."

During the Helsinki presser, Putin, fresh from Russia's spectacular World Cup soft power PR coup, passed a football to Trump. The US president said he would give it to his son, Barron, and passed the ball to First Lady Melania. Well, the ball is now in Melania's court.

[Jul 18, 2018] Trump needs to order a full intelligence agency review of Clapper's report

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

I Am Jack's Ma -> 1 Alabama Tue, 07/17/2018 - 09:57 Permalink

The hysteria is growing far too dangerous.

Comey and Senator Warner basically are calling for a coup because of the FALSE claim that it is 'treason' to doubt the IC.

Honestly, it's past joking about. The rabid dogs are now snarling in our front yard. Circling the house.

But it wasn't the Intelligence Community that said 'Russia hacked the DNC'... a play that was about getting you to ignore the CONTENT of Hillary/DNC emails. (Thus the quip 'Russia rigged our elections by exposing how our elections are rigged.').

It was Brennan and Clapper and a dozen 'handpicked' analysts from just 3 agencies. Even then the NSA boys only said 'moderate confidence' which is analyst speak for 'we have no real evidence.' The CIA and FBI analysts, relying on the DNC-linked CrowdStrike analysis of a server they never examined, said 'high confidence' which means 'we can't prove this but we totally believe it was Russia's government because wouldn't it be just like those aggressive Russkis?'

Trump needs to order a full intelligence agency review of Clapper's report. Someone lose to him needs to scream this into his ear.

SCREAM IT.

Listen boys, that covers Trump from all directions. A full intelligence agency review no matter what it says helps him. MOREOVER, as part of that, any serious IC assessment of CLAPPER'S report will show that it was contrived. Political. Not how such assessments are normally done.

So even if it's conclusions ended up being correct... the report itself would be exposed as complete bullshit. Which points one to Clapper, and Brennan... and Obama.

Hey listen, playtime is over. Comey and Brennan and the neocons and media are basically using Trump's very reasonable doubt as 'treason' and have turned the rhetoric up to 11. They are suggesting a coup based on Deep State/Dem/MIC lies. This is intolerable and we may be at a point where sending the Marines to CIA headquarters to take documents and arrest some folks is in order. What would the media do - go nuts?

Why didn't Clapper invite DIA to the party?

If its military (SO/SF) versus the spooks - guess who wins?

The CIA is for the most part a collection of drig and guns mafias. They operate outside the law with unlimited funding. Squeeze that funding - grab some of their operators off the fucking street and interrogate them...

You have Senator Cohen actually suggesting a coup because Trump doubts the IC which Schumer said has many ways to 'get you.'

Where's the military?

Ready to defend The Republic, I believe.

I know this because Tyler knows this.

I Am Jack's Ma -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:20 Permalink

I think the triggering began with

REPORTER AP: President Trump you first. Just now President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did...

So, this is a lie. It's the 'all intel agencies' lie even the NY Times at least at one loint admitted was a lie.

This is super important.

It was a dozen or so 'handpicked analysts' - NOT a full IC review. Now why wouldnt Obama, Brennan and Clapper want a full, actual Intel Assessment?

And Clapper had final edit power. I mean its a fucking joke and the complete lack of MSM scrutiny of the problems tells me the media is truly, no kidding, captured by interests who can completely suppress basic journalism (I know there's long been *bias* - this is deliberately not reporting on a highly unusual intel assessment by a guy who hates Trump relying on a private firm founded by a guy who hates Putin which has extensive ties to the DNC.

It really isnt a Red Team Blue Team thing and you don't have to like Trump. This is about whether a small group of spooks with ties to one party and effective media cobtrol get to undo an election to pursue war in Ukraine and Syria and to justify ever more spending by acting aggressively toward Russia along its borders then framing every response as 'Russian aggression.'

We are in an incredibly dangerous time eith senators and former fbi and cia heads more or less openly calling for a coup because Trump doubts Brennan/Clapper's horseshit report.

I know I repeat myself. I have to. I'm very alarmed by this stuff. Trump needs to order a full IC assessment of Clapper's report and of Russian alleged **hacking** ASAP. (the clickbait stuff is so silly its frankly not worth addressing right now).

Secret Service should also detain and question Cohen and Comey over their remarks. Trump needs to flex a little muscle now with people talking coup.

Whoa Dammit -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:39 Permalink

I'd not seen the AP reporters question that triggered this before. It looks like the reporter was trying to embarrass both Putin and Trump but wound up getting his ass, Clinton's ass, and the asses of the intelligence community handed to him instead.

wafm -> Whoa Dammit Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:39 Permalink

too right. If I remember correctly, it was in the context of Putin saying Russia is open to have FBI guys come to question the 12 GRU guys indicted (no proof yet) by Mueller.

In return, he then said Russia would like to ask a few questions to the US officials believed to have HELPED Browder funnel 400 mill to Clinton and probably avoid paying tax on 1.5 billion in Russia AND the US...

Browder has to be on top of the US wanted list in the not too distant future or there really is no fuckin justice.

BROWDER IS A FUCKIN TRAITOR, LOCK HIM UP!

[Jul 18, 2018] Everyone messes with everyone in their elections around the world. My first question is why is the media on both sides still pounding the American public with the Russia did it bullhorn. What exactly does Russia gain ? They're 9 times smaller than NATO. China has the most to gain.

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com


I am Groot -> ThePhantom Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:15 Permalink

Everyone messes with everyone in their elections around the world. My first question is why is the media on both sides still pounding the American public with the "Russia did it" bullhorn. What exactly does Russia gain ? They're 9 times smaller than NATO. China has the most to gain.

The Ukrainians were working with Hillary against Trump. The Deep State has the ability to make every act of espionage look like Russia did it. The DNC didn't turn over their server to the FBI. The Awan server disappeared too. Something smells terrible, like Kankles Huma hole.

ThePhantom -> I am Groot Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:26 Permalink

jesus they can accuse you of being a putin puppet if you don't... and how do you defend yourself.. "how dare you insult every branch of our intelligence agencies"( and the lying james clapper!!!! )how dare you...?

MrBoompi -> I am Groot Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:30 Permalink

Hey Groot, I think these countries hack and spy on each other 24