CIA Purchases Libya on Behalf of Taxpayers

Wasn’t it surprising how the bumbling Libyan rebels suddenly invaded and captured Tripoli? Gaddafi’s six combat brigades were easily routed by the rebel’s famed “Three Stooges” platoon.

Weird, right?

Turns out, we captured Tripoli just like we did Baghdad and Afghanistan: CIA black helicopters dropped bales of cash on Gaddafi’s commanders, and bribed them not to fight (according to DEBKAFile).

How much cash? I don’t know, but I’m sure that you’ve heard the stories about the cargo plane’s stuffed with cash that went un-accounted for in Iraq and Afghanistan. However much it was, you can be sure of this: it was only the beginning. Now we will have to spend money battling insurgents, bribing tribal warlords to stop fighting, propping up the new government, etc.

And then comes billions of dollars in reconstruction contracts for the Cheney & Sons construction company. That’s why we bomb them first; if we just bribed them not to fight from the get-go, there would no reconstruction profits for politically-connected companies.

And at the end of the day, Libya will remain a member of OPEC (just like Kuwait and Iraq), and you won’t even get a break on the price of gasoline. All the spoils will turn into oil company profits.

Such a deal, right?

But I don’t remember signing-off on this project. As a matter of fact, I don’t even remember my representatives in Congress debating and approving this project.

Funny how that works here in our so-called Democracy.

Curiously, the Tea Party has no objection to this expenditure of taxpayer dollars. Apparently, invasion without representation is no problem for them. Reminds me of the neocons….

Caught Slaving – Again

A few weeks ago, CNBC viewers suffered the bizarre spectacle of Larry Kudlow, neck veins bulging, shouting into the camera:

“WE NEED MORE IMMIGRATION TO JUMP-START THIS ECONOMY!!!”

Let’s see… We have 45 million people on food stamps, Great Depression style unemployment, weak economic growth, and Kudlow thinks the solution is to bring in even more people?

I was baffled. But then the New York Times published “America’s Sweatshop Diplomacy” and everything became clear. The story is about how imported sweatshop workers (J-1 visas) went on strike at a Hershey’s plant in Pennsylvania:

“They received $8 an hour, but after fees and deductions, including overpriced rent for crowded housing, they netted between $1 and $3.50 an hour. Hershey’s once had its own unionized workers packing its candy bars, starting at $18 to $30 an hour. Now the company outsources distribution to a non-union company that hires most of its workers from the J-1 program.”

When Kudlow advocates more immigration, he is really advocating the importation of Third World sweatshop workers who are compensated at a fraction of the minimum wage.

But it makes sense. Because when Kudlow talks about “growth” he is not talking about economic growth that will benefit the entire nation. He is talking about the growth of corporate profits, and the paychecks of corporate CEOs. And Kudlow was apoplectic because inflation in China was driving up sweatshop wages.

Mystery solved.

I have been saying all along that nobody in Washington cares about unemployment. And this Times story is proof. When it comes to employment, the only thought our elites have is: “how do we staff our sweatshops at no more than $2 per hour?”

Mutant Russian Dogs Poised to Invade Alaska!

The Russians are planning to build a tunnel under the Bearing Straight to connect Siberia to Alaska. But what will the bullet trains that run through the tunnel bring us?

Super-intelligent mutant dogs. That’s what.

Dogs that know how to ride a train into the city because there is more food there. The dogs even know how to wait for traffic lights before crossing the street.

Since when are dogs smart enough to commute back and forth to the city just like humans? Answer: they aren’t. These dogs obviously got loose from some demonic Soviet genetic engineering lab.

Planet of Apes? Guess again. Here comes Planet of the Dogs!

Simon Puts the Smack Down on Cramer

And it’s about time. During the numerous market panics over the past few years, we have seen Cramer pour gasoline on the fire. He was at it again on Thursday. At the end of the first video below, Cramer says:

“We have these banks. You don’t know what they really own because there’s absolutely very little clarity. And they don’t have enough capital. And they may have a window from an ECB, but in the end, even if they have to use it – we saw what happens, you get to the paper and it’s like panic is instilled by using it.”

Cramer was informing viewers that the situation has hopeless, that the ECB could do nothing to stop bank runs, and the situation was a state of panic. Gasoline, no? I mean, the market was already in a panic.

That’s why the great Simon Hobbs got in his face, as opposed to the other simpleton broadcasters on CNBC who should all be fired. What numbskulls!

Here comes Simon, and his pressure brought out a surprising revelation from Cramer:

It’s amazing that Cramer thinks his opinion about these things matters at all. I mean, did he really know anything about the situation at Bear Stearns? Was he in the loop, discussing matters with Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson, and President Bush? I doubt it. And I’ll bet that he knows even less about the situation in Europe.

And yet, he makes these statements like he is Moses handing down commandments. WTF?

Cramer thinks that he has a fiduciary responsibility to yell fire in a crowded theater, because if he doesn’t, and a fire starts, people will be mad at him. Ridiculous.

But if Cramer knows that hedge funds (plural) were targeting European bank stocks, doesn’t he have a fiduciary responsibility to tell what he knows the SEC?

I’m no lawyer, but aren’t coordinated bear-raids a violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934?

At the 1:48 mark of the second video, Cramer says:

“I do know that there’s large hedge funds that are concerned about the liquidity of banks, and they’re gunna try to do what they did here.”

Meaning: cause a Lehman-like collapse.

Well, how about it Cramer? Are you going to use your inside information to save the day by informing the authorities about this conspiracy of hedge funds?

Is Rick Perry Some Kind of Communist?

Rick Perry thinks that “printing money” is treason. He wants to string up Ben Bernanke, Texas style. But I wonder if he would have strung up George Washington whose army was funded by the fiat Continental Dollar?

You see, back in the “Tea Party” days, nobody wanted to pay taxes – not even to support the Revolutionary War effort. Washington had to spend much of his time scrounging for funds instead of fighting the British. So, Congress fired up the printing presses, funded Washington’s army, and the USA was born in a blaze of fiat glory.

But if Rick Perry were around back then, he would have put a stop to it. He would have strangled the fledgling USA in its crib. Note to Rick Perry: What are you? Some kind of communist?

Here we are about to plunge into a Tea Party-induced austerity recession, and Perry is warning Bernanke to not make any effort to prevent it. This is some strategy the Tea Party crowd has: wreck the economy, blame it on Obama, and take the White House in 2012.

It might work, but it strikes me as a tad bit evil.

Perry has joined Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann in seeking multinational support. That is done by lashing out against Bernanke because the looser Fed monetary policy is, the more inflation rises in China (due to their currency peg). And higher wages for Chinese factory workers cuts into the sweatshop profits so beloved by CEOs like Jeffery Immelt.

Once again, it’s important to remember that the Federal Reserve Bank is the only sovereign institution left in Washington, D.C. And that is exactly why it comes under attack from the hatchet men of the multinationals. Slave labor is insanely profitable, and to attract huge corporate contributions for his campaign, Rick Perry knows that volunteering to string-up Bernanke is the best way to signal his commitment to the globalist cause. That’s why he went after Bernanke right out-of-the-box after announcing that he was running for President.

If Rick Perry gets his way, the USA’s monetary policy will be made in Beijing to suit the global sweatshop industry.

Note to Rick Perry: I ask again. What are you? Some kind of communist?

Dylan Ratigan – Crazy as Hell

Dylan Ratigan is crazy because he thinks that Congress is “bought” but the White House is not. He wants Obama to fight the “bought” Congress. And it just doesn’t get any crazier than that. Where does Ratigan think Obama came from? Heaven maybe? Guess again, Mr. Ratigan. Obama emerged from the same swamp that you are railing against. He is one of them!

The USA ceased being a sovereign nation long ago. Marching orders are handed down from the multinationals, and the flunkies in Washington carry them out. Laws are written by lobbyists and rubber-stamped by “representatives” who don’t even read the “legislation” – except for the passages that specify their pork-barrel payoffs. And the orders are signed into laws by presidents.

The multinationals call the shots, and that is not going to change. There will be no infrastructure-building jobs-program for the simple reason that the multinationals don’t have the USA penciled-in for growth. Think about it: if you were Jeffrey Immelt busily exporting your plants to China and Mexico, why would you instruct your lobbyists to implement an infrastructure program for the USA? Wouldn’t you instead have them work on foreign aid to help Mexico build infrastructure to better host your plants down there?

At 1:25 into Ratigan’s now infamous “mad as hell” video below, you can get a good look at his insanity. This reminds me of when Jeff Macke when nuts on CNBC and got fired a couple of years ago. In all seriousness, Ratigan’s family should do an intervention.

Rick Sneeratelli

Part of Rick Santelli’s job on CNBC is to announce the unemployment-claims data every Thursday morning. And whenever the data is good, Santelli sneers at it, carrying on about how it will be revised, or why it’s not good enough, etc. If you got all of your information from Santelli, you might think that things were getting worse.

But clearly they are not. Here is a chart of the 4-week moving average of new unemployment claims, which you can see has been improving in recent weeks (click chart to enlarge):

And the spike up in the spring was almost certainly the result of assembly lines shutting down after running out of Japanese parts due to the earthquake/tsunami/meltdown.

Santelli can sneer all he wants, but people keeping their jobs is considered a good thing amongst normal people.

Santelli is a bad announcer. Mixing editorial opinions into the actual reporting is bad practice. If he wants to give an opinion after he reports the facts, that’s fine. But as it is, I never get a clear picture of the news from listening to him. I have to go to Bloomberg to see what actually happened.

With Santelli’s Tea Party downsizing the public sector all across the country, and the likes of Jeff Immelt still exporting private-sector jobs clear out of the country, it’s a miracle that claims are dropping at all. We may have a political disaster in Washington, and a financial disaster in Europe, but we do not yet have an economic disaster on Main Street – Sneeratelli notwithstanding.

Lee Adler Bungles Food-Stamp Data

On August 6th, Lee Adler reported in his Wall Street Examiner a “sudden acceleration of the decline” of the economy based on the latest food-stamp data released by the USDA. That data showed an alarming surge in the number of people receiving foods stamps for the month of May (the latest reporting month).

But if Adler had downloaded the spreadsheet, he would have seen that the bulk of the increase came from one state: Alabama (click image to enlarge):

Well, it just so happens that Alabama was mauled by massive tornadoes in April, and Alabama state officials say they used the food-stamp program for disaster relief. And if Adler had asked the USDA (like I did), they would have told him that there was also an error in the reported number, which will be adjusted downward soon.

Adler got it totally wrong. This surge in food-stamp usage had nothing whatsoever to do with the economy. Adler simply typed up his prejudices instead doing actual research.

This chart shows the number of people added to the food-stamps program using the currently released data (click chart to enlarge):

The May bar looks pretty scary, right? But what would it look like if there had been no tornadoes in Alabama? In this next chart, I back out the May data for Alabama (1,762,481) and add back in the state’s April number (868,813):

Without the natural disaster, we probably would have seen about 211,000 people added to the rolls. While that isn’t the greatest of news, it is well below the 12-month moving average shown by the red line on the chart.

The moral of the story is that the actual situation is exactly the opposite of what Adler reported: The number of people being added to the food-stamps program for economic reasons continues a months-long steady decline.

If you want an objective and competent analysis of the food-stamp data, my page here is always up-to-date.

Bernanke Shows How It’s Done

When there is a banking crisis in Europe, Jean-Claude Trichet pours gasoline on it

In come circles, that is considered odd behavior.

Especially for a central banker.

But not in Europe. Over there, Trichet gets to keep his job.

Bizarre.

Say what you want about Ben Bernanke, but at least he tries to make things better. What did Bernanke do today to cause the huge rally? Nothing really. But at least he didn’t roll a grenade onto the NYSE trading floor like we saw Trichet do twice during the past week.

That makes a difference.

McClellan Oscillator Makes Record Low

The McClellan Oscillator, which is a breadth momentum indicator, made a record low today. According to TradeStation data, it is now at -424.59, which is lower than both the TARP Crash low (-407.47), and the Flash Crash low (-414.13).

The selling stampede that we have just seen has been the most intense in at least 45 years. This doesn’t mean that it’s over though. The market could continue to drift downward at a more sedate pace. To see what that might look like, go back on your SPX chart to the two previous MacOs record lows:

October 9, 2008 – TARP Crash
May 20, 2010 – Flash Crash

In both cases you will see the market spending months carving out inverse head-and-shoulder reversal patterns before rallying back.

Recovering from the TARP Crash took a long time because the economy was in recession. Bouncing back from the Flash Crash was much quicker because the economy was expanding. At the moment, the economy is continuing to expand as we saw with Friday’s jobs report. If that holds up in the coming weeks, then the market has a decent chance of rallying back.

However, there is no sign at all of a reversal pattern on the chart yet. If one does indeed form, it will likely require weeks or months. If it is another inverse head-and-shoulders, then that means this current low is only the left-shoulder, and a lower-low at the head is coming.

The moral of the story is that there is no rush to catch the falling knife – even if you know for a fact that the market will be at new highs a year from now – which you don’t.

Fractal End-of-Trend Signal for Gold

The Fractal Dimension Index indicator on the daily chart of the GLD gold ETF is giving an end-of-trend signal. Below is a screenshot from my Fractal Stock Grapher software (click to enlarge):

The black arrow is pointing to the current end-of-trend signal. The blue arrow is pointing to the previous such signal from late April, after which gold went sideways for two months. So that worked out well. Now lets take a look at the weekly chart:

At the black arrow, you can see that this is the lowest FDI reading in almost two years. At the blue arrow, you can see that gold made a peak that it wasn’t able to exceed for almost six months. So, the end-of-trend signal worked well there too.

Both of these examples show that an end-of-trend signal means only that: the previous trend is long in the tooth, but a reversal is not guaranteed. Consolidation is just as likely.

The Fractal Dimension Index is telling us that gold is likely to begin consolidating soon. Gold bugs who want to buy should be able to get in at better prices. Gold bears might do well shorting rallies in the near future – but very carefully because gold’s long-term uptrend is still unscathed.

Trichet Crash II

I have always maintained that the so-called “Flash Crash” of May 2010 was in reality triggered by Jean-Claude Trichet when he voiced his “let Greece burn” sentiments on the morning of the crash.

And now I am vindicated because Trichet did it again! At the European Central Bank policy meeting on Thursday, August 4th, as financial panic was engulfing Italy and Spain, Trichet announced that he was thinking about raising interest rates some more!

And the markets crashed again.

Can you believe that?

Trichet should have been impeached or fired, or whatever they do over there, last year. He is completely tone deaf to markets.

This has to be the greatest display of financial incompetence in the history of the world.

The Great Tea Party Crash of August 2011

On his CNBC show Tuesday night, Larry Kudlow blamed the stock market plunge on President Obama. The President made some snarly remarks when he was signing the budget bill. You know, complaining about rich people flying around in their private jets and paying taxes at a lower rate than their maids. That sort of thing.

But could that have really crashed the market? I mean, it’s not like Obama said anything new. It’s far more likely that the market was giving the thumbs-down to this new era of Tea-Party austerity that Kudlow celebrated. After all, austerity hasn’t exactly worked wonders over in Europe.

Interesting fact: While Obama likes to carry on about the jet set, he probably commands the largest fleet of private jets in the world. I couldn’t find the stat, but I read somewhere that the Pentagon operates a huge fleet of private jets. Our generals and admirals travel in style.

Bag the Tea Party

Last night, a member of the Congressional Tea Party caucus was on MSNBC discussing the budget negotiations. I didn’t catch his name, but he insisted that no cuts could be made to the defense budget because our military was “hollowed out” already.

Really? You call eleven aircraft carrier-groups “hollowed out”? That’s more than the rest of world’s carriers combined. And ours are bigger too. For example, France’s “Charles de Gaulle” is a 42,000 ton ship, and our “Nimitz” class ships are 102,000 tons.

Here’s the Tea Party threatening to wreck the USA’s credit rating by preventing the debt limit from being raised while simultaneously refusing to scale back military spending by a single penny. Amazing.

Is there anything more expensive than perpetual global warfare? No there is not. You can call it “policing” if you want, but policing ain’t cheap either. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has an annual budget of $2.4 billion. And it’s even more expensive to have a US marine police a city on the other side of the globe. It costs $1,000,000 in logistics to support that marine as he patrols Kandahar.

Of course, a Humvee parked on a base in Kansas doesn’t suffer a lot of wear-and-tear. But when it is driven around Basra, it might get a few dings. So, I’m sure that quite a lot of our military equipment needs to be replaced. But that isn’t the point.

Note to Tea Party: The country can’t be a low-tax Republic and a global military empire simultaneously!

The Tea Party is a walking contradiction. Why might that be? Because they are just a front group for the multinationals. A president Palin or Bachmann would help globalist CEO’s like Jeff Immelt export more factories to China while simultaneously purchasing more GE-brand attack helicopters on behalf of the taxpayers.

And in case you didn’t notice, there are only so many helos that can be purchased with taxpayer money when the taxpayers don’t have jobs. The Tea Party plan is no more feasible than the socialism they accuse Obama of.

Anybody who says that there is no fat to cut in the defense budget, or any other department of the federal government, is a charlatan. Anybody who says that we have to police the globe is a charlatan. Imperial wars are a luxury item – the most expensive luxury item of all. When the Tea Party says that we can’t scale the empire back, at all, it is exposing itself as a fraud.

And no, our founding fathers were not imperialists. In fact, they were rather fond of criticizing standing armies.