Puppet Masters


The Fed's QE Infinity: What is it all about?

We print money for free, then loan it to you at interest. If you misbehave, we'll not loan it to you at all.
QE3, the Federal Reserve's third round of quantitative easing, is so open-ended that it is being called QE Infinity.

Doubts about its effectiveness are surfacing even on Wall Street. The Financial Times reports:
Among the trading rooms and floors of Connecticut and Mayfair [in London], supposedly sophisticated money managers are raising big questions about QE3 - and whether, this time around, the Fed is not risking more than it can deliver.

Which raises the question, what is it intended to deliver? As suggested in an earlier article here, QE3 is not likely to reduce unemployment, put money in the pockets of consumers, reflate the money supply, or significantly lower interest rates for homeowners, as alleged. It will not achieve those things because it consists of no more than an asset swap on bank balance sheets. It will not get dollars to businesses or consumers on Main Street.
Eye 1

Senate investigation finds Homeland Security spying wasted billions, watched citizens, abused civil liberties - but does nothing about it

Capitol Building
A Senate investigation finds the post-9/11 big government intelligence program is a bloated bureaucracy and infringes civil liberties

The government has wasted billions of dollars on an intelligence-sharing program created after 9/11 that is infringing on Americans' civil liberties and using vast resources for functions that have nothing to do with terrorism, a Senate report has found.

The report is "a scathing evaluation of what the Department of Homeland Security has held up as a crown jewel of its security efforts," reports the Associated Press. "The report underscores a reality of post-9/11 Washington: National security programs tend to grow, never shrink, even when their money and manpower far surpass the actual subject of terrorism. Much of this money went for ordinary local crime-fighting."

The Senate Homeland Security subcommittee reviewed more than 600 of the intelligence program's reports and found the giant bureaucracy surrounding the program produced almost nothing that had to do with countering terrorist threats.

World War: U.S. discussing unilateral strikes on 'terrorist groups' In Africa

© AFP/Getty Images
As al-Qaida has fragmented, U.S. officials have turned their attention to loosely affiliated groups that present threats of their own. Officials tell The Washington Post that among the steps being considered are drone strikes aimed at terrorists based in North Africa.

During a "series of secret meetings in recent months," the White House began to "consider for the first time whether to prepare for unilateral strikes" aimed at terrorist groups operating in North Africa, The Washington Post writes this morning.

The real reason US fears Iranian nukes: They can deter U.S. attacks

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
© John Moore/Getty Images
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sits with his delegation before addressing the UN General Assembly in New York.
GOP Senator Lindsey Graham echoes a long line of US policymakers: Iran must not be allowed to deter US aggression

In the Washington Post today, Richard Cohen expresses surprise that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is "starting to make some sense" and "wax rationally". Cohen specifically cites this statement from the Iranian president last week:
"Let's even imagine that we have an atomic weapon, a nuclear weapon. What would we do with it? What intelligent person would fight 5,000 American bombs with one bomb?"
Cohen's surprise notwithstanding, numerous Iranian leaders, including Ahmadinejad, have long made the same point. And it's a point so obvious it should not even need to be made. No rational person takes seriously the claim that Iran, even if it did obtain a nuclear weapon, would commit instant and guaranteed national suicide by using it to attack a nation that has a huge nuclear stockpile, which happens to include both the US and Israel. One can locate nothing in the actions of Iran's regime that even suggests irrationality on that level, let alone suicidal impulses.

That Iran will use its nuclear weapons against the US and Israel is rather obviously the centerpiece of the fear-mongering campaign against Tehran, to build popular support for threats to launch an aggressive attack in order to prevent them from acquiring that weapon. So what, then, is the real reason that so many people in both the US and Israeli governments are so desperate to stop Iranian proliferation?

Syria, the Story So Far

"Today, many Americans are asking - indeed I ask myself," Hillary Clinton said, "how can this happen? How can this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated, and at times, how confounding the world can be."

The Secretary of State was referring to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya September 11 that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans. US intelligence agencies have now stated that the attackers had ties to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Yes, the world can indeed be complicated and confounding. But we have learned a few things. The United States began blasting Libya with missiles with the full knowledge that they were fighting on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. Benghazi was and is the headquarters for Muslim fundamentalists of various stripes in North Africa. However, it's incorrect to claim that the United States (aka NATO) saved the city from destruction. The story of the "imminent" invasion of Benghazi by Moammar Gaddafi's forces last year was only propaganda to justify Western intervention. And now the United States is intervening - at present without actual gunfire, as far as is known - against the government of Syria, with the full knowledge that they're again on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. A rash of suicide bombings against Syrian government targets is sufficient by itself to dispel any doubts about that. And once again, the United States is participating in the overthrow of a secular Mideast government.
Arrow Up

Something bad this way comes...

Bad Feeling
© The Strangest Brew
The elections/farce is just over a month away. There has never been an election so important while at the same time so pointless.

The war drums against Iran are beating louder than ever even though US and Israeli intelligence agencies say there is no evidence of weaponized enrichment.

The TSA is stepping things up with the testing of liquids purchased after security and "cowwing" travelers into freezing/heeling on barked decree. All this while they root through and steal our belongings.

The DHS, SSA and other agencies are buying hollow point ammo at an alarming rate.

The police are more militarized than ever before. They are trained and operate as if they are an occupying force in a foreign land filled with violent "radicals." In the coming years the plan is to have up to 30,000 drones in the air.

And the Federal Reserve has literally implemented QE ad infinitum.

Soon, someone is going to do something stupid...

It's just a feeling.


Legal tender... Except when it's not

Toll Sign
© EricPetersAuto
It still says, "legal tender for all debts, public and private" - but it's becoming clear the powers-that-be would much prefer you used something else. Besides cash money, that is.

Increasingly, they are insisting.

A few weeks ago, for example, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a motorist on a toll road who tries to pay the toll with cash may be physically detained - and forced to submit to an an interrogation. (PDF of the ruling is available here.)

Last year, Florida residents Joel, Deborah and Robert Chandler were driving on the Florida Turnpike - hilariously named The Less Stressway - when they came upon a toll both, operated by private contractor Faneuil, Inc. for the state of Florida.

They attempted to pay the toll with legal tender - cash. A $50 bill. Faneuil, Inc. really wants people to use "SunPass" electronic transponders and has eliminated cash toll lanes on a section of the Parkway between the Exit 1 and Exit 47 interchanges in Miami-Dade County.

This happened to be the stretch of road on which the Chandlers were driving that day. They did not have the electronic "Sun Pass" transponder - perhaps because, like many motorists, they don't like the idea of a government-issued (or corporate issued) electronic transmitter in their vehicle - which can track their vehicle. The transponders make it easy to monitor where a car goes, when it goes - and how quickly it goes. Reasonably, many people - including the Chandlers - prefer not to be so monitored.

So, they tried to pay the toll with cash.
Car Transponder
© EricPetersAuto
This was refused - and then they were physically detained by not being allowed to proceed through the toll. Since it is illegal to back up on a highway, they had no choice but to sit there until the toll operator - now, for all practical purposes their jailer - raised the gate and allowed them to proceed.

Which he would not do until the Chandlers "complied" with the toll collector's demand that a Bill Detection Report be filled out. This report included information about their vehicle as well as the Chandler's driver's license info, which they were compelled to provide.

Warnings that a massive stock market crash is imminent

© The Economic Collpase Blog
In the financial world, the month of October is synonymous with stock market crashes. So will a massive stock market crash happen this year? You never know. The truth is that our financial system is even more vulnerable than it was back in 2008, and financial experts such as Doug Short, Peter Schiff, Robert Wiedemer and Harry Dent are all warning that the next crash is rapidly approaching.

We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world and Wall Street has been transformed into a giant casino that is based on a massive web of debt, risk and leverage. When that web breaks we are going to see a stock market crash that is going to make 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.

Yes, the Federal Reserve has tried to prevent any problems from erupting in the financial markets by initiating another round of quantitative easing, but 40 billion dollars a month will not be nearly enough to stop the massive collapse that is coming. This will be explained in detail toward the end of the article. Hopefully we will get through October (and the rest of this year) without seeing a stock market collapse, but without a doubt one is coming at some point. Those on the wrong end of the coming crash are going to be absolutely wiped out.

A lot of people focus on the month of October because of the history of stock market crashes in this month. This history was detailed in a recent USA Today article....
When it comes to wealth suddenly disappearing, October can be diabolically frightful. The stock market crash of 1929 that led to the Great Depression occurred in October. So did the 22.6% plunge suffered by the Dow Jones industrial average in 1987 on "Black Monday."

The scariest 19-day span during the 2008 financial crisis also went down in October, when the Dow plunged 2,675 points after investors fearing a financial collapse went on a panic-driven stock-selling spree that resulted in five of the 10 biggest daily point drops in the iconic Dow's 123-year history.
So what will we see this year?

Only time will tell.

If a stock market crash does not happen this month or by the end of this year, that does not mean that the experts that are predicting a stock market crash are wrong.

It just means that they were early.

As I have said so many times, there are thousands upon thousands of moving parts in the global financial system. So that makes it nearly impossible to predict the timing of events with perfect precision. Financial conditions are constantly shifting and changing.

But without a doubt another major financial collapse similar to what happened back in 2008 (or even worse) is on the way. Let's take a look at some of the financial experts that are predicting really bad things for our financial markets in the months ahead....

Doug Short

According to Doug Short, the vice president of research at Advisor Perspectives, the stock market is somewhere between 33% and 51% overvalued at this point. In a recent article he offered the following evidence to support his position....
● The Crestmont Research P/E Ratio (more)

● The cyclical P/E ratio using the trailing 10-year earnings as the divisor (more)

● The Q Ratio, which is the total price of the market divided by its replacement cost (more)

● The relationship of the S&P Composite price to a regression trendline (more)

US court orders Iran, others to pay $6 billion for 9/11

New York - A US judge formally ordered Iran, Al-Qaeda and several other defendants Wednesday to pay $6 billion compensation to the victims of September 11, 2001, in a largely symbolic ruling.

Although Iran denies any connection to 9/11, it was included in the list of alleged culprits by the US District Court in New York, along with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Afghanistan's Taliban guerrillas and Al-Qaeda, which took credit for the massive terror attack.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is also named.

However, the money, awarded for economic, personal and punitive damages for a total of $6,048,513,805, is unlikely to be recovered.

FBI using social media to look for Massachusetts terrorism suspect

On the FBI website, you'll find a recording of accused terrorist Ahmad Abousamra. Investigators hope someone will hear his voice, recognize him and turn him in.

"It's often easy for individuals to change their appearance through clothes, makeup, facial hair -- it's not often easy for them to disguise their voice," said Special Agent in charge of the investigation Richard DeLauriers.

Though they won't comment on the timing, Wednesday, the FBI launched a social media campaign and put up a reward of $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of Abousamra.

The 31-year-old computer programmer and UMass Boston graduate was indicted a few years ago on nine terrorism-related charges, including trying to train to kill US service members overseas and conspiring to provide material support to Al-Qaida.

"Detecting, preventing and deterring a terrorist attack here inside the United States is the FBI's top investigative priority," said DeLauriers in a conference room in the FBI's Boston office.

Abousamra has dual citizenship in the US and Syria; investigators think he fled to Syria with his wife and young daughter in 2006 after being questioned by the FBI about trips he took to Pakistan and Yemen.