“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The World's toughest national anthem


  1. The Great Lie of 2009:
    "A Recovery Is Around The Corner"
    Just as the authorities were touting the "end of the financial crisis," all heck has broken loose again -

    We have industrial production falling at the same pace as it did in the early 1930s …. and global trade falling at twice the pace of the early 1930s.

    We have California — the nation’s most populous state, with the largest GDP and the greatest impact on the entire U.S. economy — collapsing.
    The nation’s mountain of derivatives is not a mirage on the future horizon. Nor is it merely a phenomenon of our distant past.
    It’s real. It’s here. And it’s huge.

    Despite some shedding of risk here and there, every single one of the five largest derivatives players is still grossly overexposed to defaults by trading partners:

    Bank of America has total credit risk in this sector to the tune 169 percent of its capital;
    Citibank, 216 percent;
    JPMorgan Chase, 323 percent;
    HSBC Bank USA, 475 percent;
    Goldman Sachs, a whopping 1,048 percent, or over TEN times its capital.

    In our 2006 "Global Vesuvius" issue (download the pdf), we identified five major threats:

    Major threat #1.
    The sheer size of the derivatives market. At that time, the global market for derivatives was $285 trillion.

    Now it’s $592 trillion. Its six-year compound rate of growth: A shocking 34.5 percent per year!

    Major threat #2.
    The Lack of Transparency. We railed against over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, representing 96 percent of all derivatives held by U.S. commercial banks. We warned about the lack of disclosure to investors, the lack of standard pricing and the fact that "two financial institutions can trade whatever the heck they want … and no one but the parties involved knows precisely what the contracts are, or what their value really is."

  2. Westside Los Angeles:
    The Ultimate Prime and Stagnant Real Estate Market.

    Comparing March and May 2009 Data.
    Gear up for the Foreclosure Storm.

    $17.5 Million Foreclosures happen when you let WaMu and BofA Play Together.
    Digging into the Housing Shade of Palms.

  3. At least Holdren made his opinions public. Dick 'Five Deferement' Cheney did not allow the Congress to fulfill its' Constitutional oversight responsibilities. Instructing the CIA to stonewall and lie to Congress.

    If true, Cheney should be indicted.

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The CIA withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress during the Bush administration on direct orders from then-Vice President Dick Cheney, current CIA director Leon Panetta told members of Congress, a knowledgeable source confirmed to CNN.

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly ordered the CIA to withhold information about counterterrorism.

    The disclosure to the House and Senate intelligence committees about Cheney's involvement by Panetta was first reported in the New York Times. Efforts to contact Cheney for reaction were unsuccessful late Saturday.

    The source who spoke to CNN did not want to be identified by name because the matter is classified, and CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano declined comment on the report.

    "It's not agency practice to discuss what may or may not have been said in a classified briefing," Gimigliano said. "When a CIA unit brought this matter to Director Panetta's attention, it was with the recommendation that it be shared with Congress. That was also his view, and he took swift, decisive action to put it into effect.

  4. Or, as the BBC puts it

    The existence of the programme, set up after 9/11, was hidden for eight years and even now its nature is not known.

  5. That's the way to do it, Alinsky style. Nancy is a street fighter.

    Need to smear someone? Invoke Dick Cheney, tie him into the CIA.

    Don't forget, this is a spat between Nancy Pelosi and the CIA. So if Congress says anything it's because the Speaker says it. This story automatically raises a red flag.

  6. That could be the case, it could also be true that Cheney ordered the CIA to cover-up the program.

    Findings of fact, are made in Court. Cheney should be indicted, if there is any truth to the story, at all.

  7. This sounds like hardball, take no prisoners politics:
    From rat's CNN link:
    A knowledgeable source familiar with the matter said the counterterrorism program in question was initiated shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

    The program was on-again, off-again and was never fully operational, but was rather, a tool put on the shelf that could have been used, the source said. Panetta has put an end to the program, according to the source.

    It was never fully operational. This whole story smells.

  8. The BBC:

    Another unnamed official told AP it was an embryonic intelligence-gathering effort, aimed at yielding intelligence that would be used to conduct a covert operations abroad.

    Sources have told a number of US media outlets Mr Cheney personally instructed the CIA to withhold information about the programme from Congress.

    Mr Panetta - who took over directorship of the CIA under President Obama's administration - is said to have learnt about the programme only on 23 June.

    The next day he called an emergency meeting with congressional intelligence committees to tell them about its existence and to say that it was being cancelled, the reports say

  9. please take your thoughts to the next post.

  10. Indicted for what? This is hearsay an is Congress supposed to know every detail? And if they're not told every detail can they prosecute someone? And how do we know Pelosi an Company are not lying about all of this.

  11. Why would Nancy do that?
    Cheney = Darth
    Cheney is Evil
    Indict Cheney