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    Daily Digest 8/24 – Debt ‘Brinksmanship’ Could Test U.S. Credit, The Price Of Appeasing The Left

    by DailyDigest

    Thursday, August 24, 2017, 2:58 PM


Debt Ceiling ‘Brinksmanship’ Could Test U.S. Top-Notch Credit Rating (LesPhelps)

As a consequence of hitting the debt ceiling, the Treasury has been operating under “extraordinary measures” since March to ensure the government pays its bills on time. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said things should be just fine until September, when Congress will need to decide what to do about America’s mounting debt problem.

Gavekal On The Coming Clash Of Empires: Russia’s Role As A Global Game-Changer (Aaron M.)

To have a chance in the fight, the continental empire would have to “keep” a massive land mass under its control. This would require building extensive lines of communication (rail, roads, telecoms, satellites…), linking its own land-mass to the other “productive” land masses, avoiding as much as possible the use of sea links to communicate with other nations. The land empire would need to develop an economy which would not need to trade through the seas.

After intimate pat-down, she wonders how much privacy must we give up to fly safely? (thc0655)

Complaints poured in when the TSA began more aggressive searches in 2010. Travelers gave graphic accounts of genital contact by agents, the New York Times reported, and “a general sense of powerlessness and humiliation.”

Without Peeking, Can You Tell Me This Man’s Name? (Afridev)

Are the two killings being treated differently because of the severity of the crime? Each crime featured the same number of murder victims: one. Heather Heyer was killed with a car, which is horrific, but the man in the picture was stabbed multiple times on the street with a sword. It was an attack intended to be as terrifying to the public as possible, and his killer stated that he did it to send a message to women that they should avoid interracial relationships. Not sure there’s much of a case that it’s due to the severity of their respective murders.

Mizzou Pays a Price for Appeasing the Left (thc0655)

The commotion began in October 2015, when student activists claiming that “racism lives here” sent administrators a lengthy list of demands. Among them: The president of the University of Missouri system should resign after delivering a handwritten apology acknowledging his “white male privilege”; the curriculum should include “comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion” training; and 10% of the faculty and staff should be black.

Seize The Means Of Automation (Afridev)

The coming advancements in AI will not happen linearly — that is to say, advancements in software tend to be exponential, as in Moore’s law that the numbers of transistors we can fit onto a silicon chip doubles every two years. This means that it is not reasonable for us to expect that in ten years’ time AI developments will have advanced the same amount that they did in the last ten years; a much more reasonable expectation is that the evolution of AI will have covered many times more ground in the next ten years than in the last ten.

Grenfell Was No Ordinary Accident (jdargis)

Two months have now passed since the horrifying Grenfell fire. At the time of this writing, the death toll stands at 80, but authorities say the true figure is almost certainly higher and may never be known. Most of the bodies are too badly incinerated to be identified. In the aftermath, the leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea council resigned in disgrace. Amid ongoing speculation that the fire was exacerbated by flammable cladding installed during a recent renovation, the British Prime Minister Theresa May announced an official inquiry to determine whether criminal charges should be brought against culpable parties.

Florida Lawmakers to Review Law Targeting Injured Undocumented Workers (jdargis)

NPR and ProPublica found that nearly 800 undocumented workers in Florida have been charged with workers’ comp fraud for using illicit Social Security numbers to either get their jobs, file for workers’ compensation benefits or both. More than 560 didn’t actually file workers’ comp claims but still were charged with fraud. Another 130 suffered legitimate workplace injuries but were denied benefits and prosecuted. Some were detained by federal immigration authorities and deported.

Can Mexico Replicate The U.S. Shale Boom? (Michael K.)

Why shale? Because the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated in 2013 that Mexico has unproved but technically recoverable shale gas resources of 545.2 trillion cu ft. Most of this, around 343 trillion cu ft plus about 6.3 billion barrels of oil (half of the total shale oil resource base) is located in the Burgos Basin, which is connected to the Eagle Ford shale play in Texas and covers a much larger area.

Why Oil-Loving Louisiana Should Embrace America’s Coming Offshore Wind Boom (jdargis)

During the summer of 2009, while doing a job off the coast of New Jersey for the British Geological Survey, one of Orgeron’s liftboats was docked in Atlantic City, a harbor more accustomed to mega yachts and fringed by casinos. Soon after arriving in town Orgeron received a curious string of calls. Three different offshore wind companies wanted to view his vessel. This is when the lightbulb went off. He began attending offshore wind conferences, and educated himself on the industry. “It’s good for us to be diverse and find other ways to use these vessels,” says Orgeron. “If you don’t have that mentality you are a dinosaur, and you’re going to go out of business.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/23/17

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  • Thu, Aug 24, 2017 - 1:39pm



    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1847

    Catherine Austin Fitts again says cryptocurrencies are Mr Global

    Basel, BIS & Bitcoin

    “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” ~Bob Dylan
    By Catherine Austin Fitts
    Basel, Switzerland is the home of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) –  the central bank of central banks.
    Yesterday afternoon, I bought a train ticket in Basel. I was standing at a ticket machine for Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).
    One of my payment options was Bitcoin.
    Cryptocurrencies are not a grassroots phenomenon. Mr. Global wants out of sovereign deposit insurance (bailout problems solved!) and complete digital transparency – for Mr. Global.
    The amount of money available to pump cryptocurrencies – especially while the market capitalization is tiny relative to other currency and financial markets – is near infinite. But you can’t print Bitcoin, you say. Yes, but you can print and steal trillions of dollars with which to pump it.
    You and I are financing the prototype. So see the state of play, assess the opportunities, beware the traps and appreciate the end game.
    Related Solari Report
    Bitcoin 101
    Then endgame link goes here
    By Catherine Austin Fitts

    Aaron Russo was a great man. He was a talented, successful movie producer turned freedom fighter. He had the heart of a lion and a bountiful love of humanity, I considered him a friend. So did many people seeking to understand how we best ensure human freedom.  Before he died, he gave an interview to Alex Jones in which he describes a conversation he had with a member of the Rockefeller family . He  was told that the end game is to have people microchipped for complete control.
    If Aaron says this conversation happened – then it did.
    Before you embrace the idea of a cashless society, you need to appreciate that all digital money is a step to a greater goal – one that will destroy human freedom. If you think surveillance capitalism is unpleasant now, wait until the big banks and the intelligence agencies have the power to turn off your ability to transact or access your funds if they don’t like something you thought or said this morning in the “privacy” of your own home.
    The war on cash is a war on humanity – don’t let it happen. While we are at it, it is time to outlaw private banks monopoly to create currency.  If this is where they want to go, it is time for their monopoly to go.

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  • Thu, Aug 24, 2017 - 7:38pm



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 14 2009

    Posts: 106


    She’s an american hero who nearly lost her life standing up to the Bush family and other powers that be. Her story is something everyone should read. The digital currency is definitely a double edge sword as well as a “two sided” coin. Money, for most of history, has been tied to something real and limited for a reason. It’s immediately tempting to see an “outside” system but as she points out, it is the ultimate conduit for control by a central few. The digital era is an insane contradiction in so many ways. It has brought on a tremendous enlightenment and powerful tools for the common man but it has also brought on amazing tools for any evil power. It has almost immediately been used to undermine the fourth amendment and frighteningly, people seem to now accept as truth and a given, that profound loss. Because they can track everything said and because the digital world empowers the common man,  the first amendment appears to be another target. Congress just moved forward a declaration that Wikileaks is an enemy and has no First Am. protection. What and who is next?          

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  • Thu, Aug 24, 2017 - 8:02pm



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 09 2016

    Posts: 123

    private banks vs bitcoin

    If the private banks were replaced with public ones there would be no need for bitcoin and its cousins.  If history is any indication, corruption would eventually eat up the public banks, so I think cryptos will always be needed.  Corrupting the mathematical algorithms in open source software would only be possible by making it closed source, much like the closed source vote counting (and flipping) software of Diebold.  Bitcoin’s strength is in its decentralization while the too-big-to-fail banks desperately need centralized cashless control.  Let’s see how far you get by demanding that their software be open source.  Diebold keeps their vote “counting” software closed source while its ATM software is open source.  I guess our votes are more important than our money.  

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  • Thu, Aug 24, 2017 - 8:05pm



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 09 2016

    Posts: 123

    Private Banks vs bitcoin (2)

    For some reason this part got truncated:
    I understand why CAF is way into the “the government is the problem” camp.  She was put through the ringer when she found some sort of back channel money flow corruption while she was in the government.  But who really owns the government?  It certainly isn’t all of us Joe Shmows.  Marine General Smedley Butler had it right:
    “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

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  • Thu, Aug 24, 2017 - 11:34pm



    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3112

    bitcoin, mr. global, 2FA

    Mr. Global almost certainly has a specific intent with bitcoin, but sometimes the rats sneak away from the experiment.  Its not just Mr. Global that is learning things here.
    Perhaps just the concept that there are nation-state-independent ways of issuing currency is now making it deeper into the public consciousness, and how that can be useful is more than slightly subversive.  Sure you can have “World Government Coin”, but that would work about as well as the Euro.  Probably worse.  One interest rate for everyone?
    I’m certainly under no illusion that bitcoin is anonymous, or “free from government interference”, but the more it gets used, and the more progress its bastard children spin-offs make in actually being implemented properly (did I mention that bitcoin’s architecture wasn’t great?), the more people will be used to having such a thing around.
    Instead of replacing cash, which may well be the intent, cryptocoins might just replace credit & debit card transactions, as well as bank wire transfers.  Things don’t always happen the way Mr. Global wants them to.
    BTW, the section on phone hijacking you referred to was awesome.  2FA turns out to be a trojan horse/vulnerability rather than an asset.  My bitcoin-arb friend almost got his phone hijacked not so long ago.  It’s a real thing.
    Moral of the story: using a phone as an authenticator is generally a bad idea.  You really need special purpose hardware to do it.  Back in the day at a certain popular Internet company, employees all got their own RSA SecurID; the hardware device emits a new 6-digit code every 60 seconds, which we had to type along with our password when logging in to any internal account.  Approved by the NSA to protect information up to SECRET classification.

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  • Fri, Aug 25, 2017 - 6:27am



    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 30 2009

    Posts: 2935

    Junk-rated Chicago schools eye $1.9 billion of debt sales

    Central bankers are flying blind on QE

    Financial Times-1 hour ago

    There are bubble conditions aplenty in the bond markets. … And at a time in which public and private debt is fast approaching 300 per cent of global gross ..

    Junk-rated Chicago schools eye $1.9 billion of debt sales

    Reuters-17 hours ago
    In addition to the debt issuance, the board on Monday will also take up a $5.7 billion fiscal 2018 budget for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) that relies on …

    No Bones for LA’s City Employees … the Cupboard is Bare!

    City Watch-10 hours ago
    … lowering of the investment rate assumptions for the City’s two pension plans, … This budget gimmickry will not cover the projected deficit, and as a result, we …

    Connecticut Unfunded Pension Liabilities Miscalculated, Report Says

    Chief Investment Officer-1 hour ago
    Connecticut officials are underestimating the state’s pension liabilities by more than 50%, according to a report from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

    Kentucky’s pension crisis: You’re on the hook, and this is what you …

    The Courier-Journal-Aug 24, 2017
    Your taxes help fund pensions. And as pension costs soar, those dollars are being drained from paying for state and local government priorities like public …

    Distressed US cities seek to sell water systems: Aqua America CEO

    KFGO-19 hours ago
    Eight years after the end of the “Great Recession,” some U.S. local governments are still facing sluggish revenue growth, big unfunded pension liabilities and …


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